Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Travel Slumping, Fare Sales Continue

I was amused by the phony baloney from the White House last week in announcing that military air-lanes would be turned over to commercial airliners during the holiday season to help alleviate crowded skies. Now there's an inane solution in search of a non-existent problem.

I'm in dark-sky Tucson where it's 4.45 a.m. as I write this (I have a plane to catch), and the only thing I see in the sky right now is the stars.

Seriously, air travel is down sharply. It is down because of announced and unannounced capacity cuts, and because demand has fallen well below expectations.

Here's one example: Los Angeles International Airport says that it expects to handle 14.3 percent fewer passengers during the 10-day Thanksgiving holiday from today through Nov. 30.

Meanwhile, good news for travelers beyond less-crowded skies. Those fare sales the airline stock market analysts said weren't going to occur are continuing well past the holidays.

Southwest Airlines just extended its winter sale -- with one-way fares from $49 to $159, depending on day of travel -- through Dec. 4 for travel from Dec. 12 through Feb. 28.


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