Air Fares Leveling Off, Lower Than Last Year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    The cost of air travel has dropped nearly 20 percent since the summer -- Travelocity says.

    Air fares are leveling off, but at lower prices than travelers paid a year ago, according to Southlake-based Travelocity.

    Airlines have been cutting flights to reduce costs and drive up prices by reducing supply, and the figures from Travelocity indicate the strategy might be working.

    Travelocity said Thursday that airfares for fall are 14 percent below the levels of a year ago, after summer fares fell 18 percent from summer 2008.

    Travelocity senior editor Genevieve Shaw Brown said fares have shown signs of stabilizing over the last eight weeks. She said over the summer, prices fell the closer travelers got to their departure date, but that trend has slowed in the fall.

    Brown said travelers should also consider that hotel prices are still dropping, and not get fixated on air fares.

    The report Thursday came a day after American Express predicted that air fares will rise by up to 5 percent next year as airlines cut back on schedules and travel demand improves. The credit card company said hotel rates will fall.