PREP FOOTBALL SCORING UPDATES PRESENTED BY THE HUNGRY HOBO:

Fall airfare sales cutting deeper than usual


Share
Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2009, 3:27 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Airlines are cutting fares deeper than usual this fall in an effort to fill seats.

American and Southwest both launched fare sales this week, and United is running several sales, too.

While it's common for airlines to use discounts to fill planes during the slower fall travel months, the discounts this year are deeper and more widely available than last fall, said FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seaney.

"The prices we're seeing now are just absolutely superb" compared with this time last year, he said. They're still a little above the fares airlines were offering over the winter and spring when demand was in a free-fall, he said.

Business travelers, the most profitable for airlines, have been staying home for months as companies cut travel back to only the most essential flying. Steep discounts kept leisure travelers in the air through the summer, though at prices that often don't cover the cost of the flight. Still, airlines are better off flying at a loss than parking the plane and incurring what would often be an even bigger loss.

Cheap seats are easier to get under some of the sales than others.

The sale by Southwest Airlines Co. applies to flights from Sept. 9 through Jan. 7, but sale fares aren't available on Fridays or Sundays. And it blacked-out flights around Thanksgiving — Nov. 24 through Dec. 1 — and near Christmas and New Year's Day — Dec. 18 through Jan. 4. Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 3. Some seats are as cheap as $59 each way plus taxes.

UAL Corp.'s United, meanwhile, is running several sales, with fares for travel between Chicago and Houston for $102 each way, and travel between Atlanta and Denver for $109 each way. Tickets have to be purchased by Tuesday for travel by Dec. 16. Another sale covered Washington Dulles to several East Coast cities for travel through Nov. 18. Tickets must be purchased by Friday. Both sales are valid only for travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.

The sale by AMR Corp.'s American covered flights between New York and five other cities: Miami, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The New York to California flights were $109 each way, a number that caught Seaney's eye. It's close to the $99 each-way fare for coast-to-coast travel that fliers watch for but seldom get, he said.

Also, some carriers are undercutting each others' direct flights with one-stop flights to the same cities.

"There's a lot of really low-ball deals out there if you're willing to put up with connecting," he said.












 




Local events heading








  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






(More History)