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Air fares skyrocket for holiday season

October 17, 2009 12:49:48 AM PDT
If you're planning on flying this holiday season, buckle your seatbelts and buy your tickets early. Airline travelers are in for a rude awakening, with fares soaring. These days, airfares are skyrocketing, which is a big change from last year when fares actually dropped after Thanksgiving. Travel experts warn that it's definitely not the case this year.

"The writing is on the wall, and they are going up; they are going to continue to go up as we get closer to the holiday," said Genevieve Shaw Brown, a senior editor at Travelocity.

Why the boost in fares? Airlines have slashed flights and reduced the number of available seats.

The day before Thanksgiving is a great example. On this extremely busy travel day, there are 80,000 fewer seats this year to the 50 most traveled airports.

"I spent a whole bunch of hours in Chicago today because of that, I missed three flights, and it was just really hectic," said Glenn Brooks, a traveler.

Air travelers are feeling the pinch, and they do not like it one bit.

"It gets me upset because I want to travel, and this is going to limit my travel," said Rosie Gonzalez, an air traveler.

"The airlines are in the driver's seat unlike last year when people were afraid of spending a dollar even if they had it," said Glenn Murray, another air traveler.

If you don't like the fares now, don't expect to like them more in the upcoming weeks.

Experts say that the airlines have the upper hand, and they'll be dipping it even deeper into your pockets.

"Absolutely don't procrastinate and wait until the last minute. You are going to be sitting there buying an $800 ticket and you're not going to be happy about it," warned Rick Seaney of farecompare.com.


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