Airfare Deals Popping Up In Some Cities As Airlines Try To Fill More Seats

The bad news: No, you’re not going to score a sweet deal on a holiday flight or a weekend trip to a popular vacation destination. But there is good news: if you’re going to certain cities during off-peak travel times like the middle of the week, there could be a ridiculously low airfare out there just for you.

For example, points out Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press, some travelers have scored flights from Chicago to Boston for $80 roundtrip, San Francisco to Las Vegas for $67 roundtrip and New York to Los Angeles, with a connection, for $150 roundtrip.

Oil is at its lowest price in six and a half years, saving airlines billions of dollars on fuel, and they’re finally passing those savings on to consumers. Another reason to cut fares comes from more efficient planes with more seats packed into them. In some cities, there isn’t enough demand to fill those seats, so airlines are offering steep discounts.

Busy holidays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays are still firmly in the land of pricier flights. But slow days like the middle of the week and Saturday can garner cheap flights, especially on budget carriers like Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines.

The major carriers are matching some of these discount fares, to boot, providing a better deal than the low-cost carriers who don’t offer free overhead baggage space or complimentary drinks.

“They’re trying to force them out of the market and they have the power to do this because they are making record profits,” George Hobica, founder of travel deal site told the AP.

Dallas is a good example right now of a city that’s quite involved in the airfare pricing wars right now: After a federal law that banned many long flights from Love Field was lifted last fall, the market has seen an 8.6% increase in seats, which is more than double the growth for the entire country.

And if one airline, say, Southwest, which has its home in Dallas, offers a cheap fare to or from that airport, it’s likely another airline will as well, a Wolfe Research analyst tells the AP. As an example: Southwest offers a discounted fare from New York to Los Angeles with a connection in Dallas. American will probably try to match that, followed by United as well, even if those flights connect in Chicago.

“If passengers are willing to connect in Dallas, they are willing to connect in Chicago,” the analyst explains.

And when companies compete, we all know who wins (we do).

Airfare deals pop up as airlines wage limited fare wars [Associated Press]

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