Monday, September 08, 2008

Soaring Fares? Maybe Not ...

It may be time to have another look at those reports about soaring fares this fall. So far, what I'm seeing (though admittedly from a small personal sample) is low fares.

I just booked two trips on Continental. One was to Mike Boyd's Boyd Group aviation forecast in Aspen in early October. Since I plan to be in Tucson for a while afterward, I needed to book an open-jaw itinerary -- Newark to Denver and then, about two weeks later, Tucson to Newark. I figured I'd be looking at $700 or so -- but the fare came in at a very amazing $375, round-trip.

From Denver I needed to get to Aspen, and back to Denver the next day. On Frontier Airlines, that round-trip cost $159. Then one-way from Denver to Tucson: $99 on Frontier. Very good Frontier fares there.

Next I needed to book from Newark to Atlanta and back on Oct. 29-30. The nonstop fare on Continental, $239.

Incidentally, speaking of prices, but this time in the opposite direction, has anyone else noticed how restaurant prices are getting way out of control? My wife and I recently spent a few days in Cape Coral and Naples, Fla., spending some time with my son and his girlfriend. Dinner for four on three successive nights, at very standard restaurants, nothing fancy, averaged over $100 before tip. And in Cape Coral, at least, the food was just bloody awful, with a numbing consistency.

When we returned our rental car at the airport in Fort Myers (a soul-numbing town that I avoid except to go to the airport), we spoke with an agent there who, without prompting, said he envied us our trip back to New Jersey.


"I need a food fix," he said.


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