Q. I am retired and can fly on a flexible travel schedule. In past years, I've used Travelocity.com and Orbitz.com to pick and choose the cheapest dates to fly, using a flexible "fare calendar" on those sites. Recently I found that this function has disappeared. Where else can I look to find "I'll fly whenever it's cheapest" airfares?
A. You're correct that Travelocity has eliminated its flexible date search tool, which used to allow you to search over several months at a glance. And Orbitz has hidden its flexible date calendar, although it still exists if you know where to look. Meanwhile, Hotwire.com, Kayak.com and Cheapair.com all have useful flexible date search tools.
Q. I was at an airport in Canada a few weeks ago and noticed an airline called Star Alliance. Is it new?
A. No, it's not new. Star Alliance is an alliance of several major and smaller airlines that have joint marketing agreements. It's similar to two other alliances, SkyTeam and OneWorld.