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U.S. air fares tweaked before holidays

Nov. 3, 2009 at 9:51 AM

NEW YORK, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Finding lower air fares requires U.S. consumers use a different approach than was recommended a year ago, a travel pricing expert said.

Last year, as the holidays approached, it was best to wait before buying a ticket since fares were dropping, said Tom Parsons of BestFares.com.

"This year is so different from last year, when the best plan was to wait until closer to see how low the airlines would take their prices," he said.

This year, the better strategy would be to buy sooner than later, USA Today reported Tuesday.

Although some discount airlines have recently announced holiday sales, for the most part airlines have adjusted their schedules and the sizes of their fleets to accommodate the lower demand for tickets. With these changes in place, as demand rises airlines can once again raise prices for days that planes are expected to be full.

Delta, Northwest, United and American have bumped surcharges from $10 to $20 each way, applicable to this year's busiest travel days, the newspaper said.

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