Air fare deals reflect airline strength

April 7, 2010 at 10:18 AM
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NEW YORK, April 7 (UPI) -- U.S. airlines have initiated a new round of sales, but the deals are not as impressive as they were a year ago, an expert on travel fares said.

Chief Executive Officer of Bestfares.com Tom Parsons said deals offered by airlines this year could be up to 20 percent higher than the deals of 2009, when airlines were scrambling to fill seats.

This year in February, passenger traffic rose 9.5 percent from February 2009, providing less incentive for airlines to slash fares, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Deals this year are likely to come with more limitations, including dates blocked from the discounts, forcing travelers to plan in advance and set travel days for the middle of the week.

"You can't procrastinate," said Rick Seaney, CEO at Farecompare.com. "The pendulum is starting to swing to the airlines."

The current price war was triggered by deals offered at AirTran and Southwest, which prompted Delta, American, US Airways and Continental to adjust their prices, the newspaper said.

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