International air fares, like domestic air fares, have gone

International air fares, like domestic air fares, have gone up and continue to go up; there's no doubt about that.

An up and continue to go up; there's no doubt about that.

And an air travel "bargain" is in the eyes of the beholder. Bud an air travel "bargain" is in the eyes of the beholder. But, given inflation and the cost of everything else, relativet, given inflation and the cost of everything else, relatively reasonable air fares are still available to the traveler ly reasonable air fares are still available to the traveler who is willing and able to plan ahead and do some research owho is willing and able to plan ahead and do some research on what's available.

Though many complain about the difficun what's available.

Though many complain about the difficulty of wading through the "proliferation" of fares since thelty of wading through the "proliferation" of fares since the advent of domestic airline deregulation and the U.S. pro-co advent of domestic airline deregulation and the U.S. pro-competitive international aviation policy, it is the resultingmpetitive international aviation policy, it is the resulting variety of fares and airlines flying to given destinations variety of fares and airlines flying to given destinations that offers the careful consumer a trip somewhere at a pricethat offers the careful consumer a trip somewhere at a price that makes it possible.

It can be at least as cheap, and that makes it possible.

It can be at least as cheap, and sometimes even cheaper, to fly to a foreign destination thansometimes even cheaper, to fly to a foreign destination than to pick some domestic vacation spot.

Take the transatlant to pick some domestic vacation spot.

Take the transatlantic routes as an example. Although fares have certainly goneic routes as an example. Although fares have certainly gone up, the competition that exists on routes between the Unite up, the competition that exists on routes between the United States and the United Kingdom -- which continues torank asd States and the United Kingdom -- which continues torank as the U.S.'s top international country market -- has resulted the U.S.'s top international country market -- has resulted in a variety of low -- well, reasonably low forthis day in a variety of low -- well, reasonably low forthis day and age -- fares.

For instance, the regular economy fare and age -- fares.

For instance, the regular economy fare from Washington to London has been $898 roundtrip this wintefrom Washington to London has been $898 roundtrip this winter, but a traveler willing to go standby could get to London r, but a traveler willing to go standby could get to London and back for $396 roundtrip on British Airways. It's not a and back for $396 roundtrip on British Airways. It's not a bad way to go off-season either. Standby chances have routibad way to go off-season either. Standby chances have routinely been rated as excellent, and the airlines have been offnely been rated as excellent, and the airlines have been offering what can be called provisional confirmationsearly on tering what can be called provisional confirmationsearly on the day of departure when they know their flights won't be fihe day of departure when they know their flights won't be filled.

A person not willing to take a chance onstandby, butlled.

A person not willing to take a chance onstandby, but eager to save money, could go to London and back for $469 b eager to save money, could go to London and back for $469 by booking and paying for the ticket 21 days in advance for ay booking and paying for the ticket 21 days in advance for a visit that lasts a minimum of seven days.

In May, the sta visit that lasts a minimum of seven days.

In May, the standby ticket is scheduled to go up to $440 roundtrip and the ndby ticket is scheduled to go up to $440 roundtrip and the advance-purchase ticket goes to $574 roundtrip, but there isadvance-purchase ticket goes to $574 roundtrip, but there is always the possiblity of earlier increases.

Britian's Lak always the possiblity of earlier increases.

Britian's Laker Airways, which had a good deal to do with competition on er Airways, which had a good deal to do with competition on the Atlantic, still offers a "standard" fare of $350 roundtrthe Atlantic, still offers a "standard" fare of $350 roundtrip from New York to London.

Because the major U.S. gatewayip from New York to London.

Because the major U.S. gateway to Europe is New York, a Washington-area traveler should co to Europe is New York, a Washington-area traveler should consider going through New York, possibly combining a low forensider going through New York, possibly combining a low foreign fare with a domestic excursion fare or atrip on a low-faign fare with a domestic excursion fare or atrip on a low-fare New York air flight with a transfer of airports.

Some ore New York air flight with a transfer of airports.

Some of the smaller transatlantic airlines stilloffer prices well f the smaller transatlantic airlines stilloffer prices well below their more established brethren. Icelandair, for instbelow their more established brethren. Icelandair, for instance, currently offers an advance-purchase fare between New ance, currently offers an advance-purchase fare between New York and Luxembourg $375 roundtrip. Its regular fare is $49York and Luxembourg $375 roundtrip. Its regular fare is $499 roundtrip.

Transamerica offers tripsfrom New York to Ams9 roundtrip.

Transamerica offers tripsfrom New York to Amsterdam for $499 roundtrip with no advance purchase or minimuterdam for $499 roundtrip with no advance purchase or minimum stay requirements. Capitol International Airways offers am stay requirements. Capitol International Airways offers a standby fare of $169 from New York to Brussels or Frankfurt standby fare of $169 from New York to Brussels or Frankfurt. Its regular roundtrip fare is $429.However, unless you as. Its regular roundtrip fare is $429.However, unless you ask (and it's imperative to ask questions when buying any travk (and it's imperative to ask questions when buying any travel product), you might not learn thatyou cannot buy a returnel product), you might not learn thatyou cannot buy a return standby fare ticket once you arrivein either European city. standby fare ticket once you arrivein either European city. Thus, if you fail to purchase a round-trip ticket in this Thus, if you fail to purchase a round-trip ticket in this country, you would have to pay about $264 to return.

It iscountry, you would have to pay about $264 to return.

It is important to read ads and call the airlines or travel agent important to read ads and call the airlines or travel agents to ask what trips might be available at low fares. Many as to ask what trips might be available at low fares. Many airlines offer special fares to introduce travelers to new seirlines offer special fares to introduce travelers to new services and new routes. Pan Am, for instance, offers excursirvices and new routes. Pan Am, for instance, offers excursion fares on its new route to Chinathat might make a trip theon fares on its new route to Chinathat might make a trip there attractive to some. One potential traveler found it woulre attractive to some. One potential traveler found it would be possible to book a trip, 21 days in advance, from Washid be possible to book a trip, 21 days in advance, from Washington to Peking with a stop on the way out in Tokyo and a stngton to Peking with a stop on the way out in Tokyo and a stop on the way back in Hong Kong for about $1,500 roundtrip. op on the way back in Hong Kong for about $1,500 roundtrip.

Airlines often have a fix on when pasenger traffic will be

Airlines often have a fix on when pasenger traffice will be light and may seek with promotional fares to fill otherwis light and may seek with promotional fares to fill otherwise empty seats. A promotion might be designed to encourage aie empty seats. A promotion might be designed to encourage air travel on certain days. A good example for a Paris-boundr travel on certain days. A good example for a Paris-bound traveler is Air France's "Vacances" fare from New York. A r traveler is Air France's "Vacances" fare from New York. A roundtrip fare of $499 is offered travelers between May 16 aoundtrip fare of $499 is offered travelers between May 16 and June 13, flying to France on Saturday in May and on Wednesnd June 13, flying to France on Saturday in May and on Wednesdays and Saturdays in June. There are also other restrictidays and Saturdays in June. There are also other restrictions.

In an effort to stimulate travel to Canada, Air Canadaons.

In an effort to stimulate travel to Canada, Air Canada recently announced that it will reduce roundtrip economy f recently announced that it will reduce roundtrip economy fares on many of its North American routes by 50 percent betweares on many of its North American routes by 50 percent between April 9 and June 18. The discount fares carry some resten April 9 and June 18. The discount fares carry some restrictions.

Once the low-fare way to go, charter travel hrictions.

Once the low-fare way to go, charter travel has been off significantly since the charter airlines took aas been off significantly since the charter airlines took advantage of new opportunities under deregulations to go "schedvantage of new opportunities under deregulations to go "scheduled." But there are some signs of new life and there coulduled." But there are some signs of new life and there could be a resurgence of some charter service as scheduled flightd be a resurgence of some charter service as scheduled flights become more expensive.

At least one former charter airls become more expensive.

At least one former charter airline that leaped into scheduled services has been reconsiderinine that leaped into scheduled services has been reconsidering its move. Noting that theeconomy has cut down on the dolg its move. Noting that theeconomy has cut down on the dollars Americans are willing to spend on vacations and has booslars Americans are willing to spend on vacations and has boosted the operating costs of airlines, Del Smith, chairman ofted the operating costs of airlines, Del Smith, chairman of the board of Evergreen International, said the airline had d the board of Evergreen International, said the airline had decided to move from a scheduled service position on the Easecided to move from a scheduled service position on the East Coast back into charter. "Charter provides the traveler wit Coast back into charter. "Charter provides the traveler with direct service at an equitable fare brought about by fulth direct service at an equitable fare brought about by full occupancy of the plane's seats," he explained.

All the ail occupancy of the plane's seats," he explained.

All the airlines queried forecast higher operating costs and higher frlines queried forecast higher operating costs and higher fares, but also promised discount fares as well.

"Trying to ares, but also promised discount fares as well.

"Trying to be as objective as possible, you have to presume that throube as objective as possible, you have to presume that throughout the year there are going to be more fare increases justghout the year there are going to be more fare increases just because of the fuel costs which, far from abating, just go because of the fuel costs which, far from abating, just go on climbing," John Champion, Pan Am's vice president for int on climbing," John Champion, Pan Am's vice president for international affairs and pricing, says. Just since Presidenternational affairs and pricing, says. Just since President Reagan's announcement of oil decontrol, Pan Am has been face Reagan's announcement of oil decontrol, Pan Am has been faced with increases of eightor more a gallon, he noted. "The d with increases of eightor more a gallon, he noted. "The cost of that is just enormous . . . so the carriers will havecost of that is just enormous . . . so the carriers will have to keep making some effort to get compensatory return.

" to keep making some effort to get compensatory return.

"But most carriers certainly are cautious about the general stBut most carriers certainly are cautious about the general state of the market and the economy, so they will try to keepate of the market and the economy, so they will try to keep promotional fares as low as they can," he said.

"The relat promotional fares as low as they can," he said.

"The relative bargain will stillbe there if travelers are willing to ive bargain will stillbe there if travelers are willing to pay in advance . . . as long as they know when they're travelpay in advance . . . as long as they know when they're traveling and stick to it, they can utilize the guaranteed fare. ing and stick to it, they can utilize the guaranteed fare. The ability of the consumer to contain the impact on them is The ability of the consumer to contain the impact on them is there if they are willing to plan ahead. That's the key f there if they are willing to plan ahead. That's the key for the traveling public to focus on."

In these times of econor the traveling public to focus on."

In these times of economic downturn, international travel has actually held up veomic downturn, international travel has actually held up very well and has even expanded, in contrast to the domestic trry well and has even expanded, in contrast to the domestic travel which has suffered. A major reason is "the continued avel which has suffered. A major reason is "the continued liveliness of the overseas-originating market," as Champion cliveliness of the overseas-originating market," as Champion calls it. Although the dollar currently is improving relatialls it. Although the dollar currently is improving relative to some European currencies, the recent strength of foreigve to some European currencies, the recent strength of foreign currencies has made a trip to the United States a relativn currencies has made a trip to the United States a relative bargain for Europeans.

When all the statistics are in fore bargain for Europeans.

When all the statistics are in for 1980, it will turnout to be the first time in aviation his 1980, it will turnout to be the first time in aviation history when foreign visitors flying to the United States outnumtory when foreign visitors flying to the United States outnumber Americans traveling to foreign destinations by air. Inber Americans traveling to foreign destinations by air. In 1979, U.S. citizens still accounted for 52 percent of the U. 1979, U.S. citizens still accounted for 52 percent of the U.S. international air travel market, but that share will proS. international air travel market, but that share will probably have dropped to 48 percent for 1980. bably have dropped to 48 percent for 1980.