Travelers Brace for Headaches at Airports

June 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
This summer may one day be remembered as the good old days for air travel. It's no longer just a prediction: by Labor Day, rising fuel costs will change the airline industry as we know it.No matter how much you are willing to spend there may simply be no way to get from here to there.

Darryl Jenkins, Airline expert, says "Hawaii which really has no substitute travel to get out there other than airlines is going to take the biggest hit of all. So the travel and tourism industry which is the world's largest industry is going to take an incredible hit this year."

The air transport association says 100 small communities such as Toledo, Ohio and Merced, California will lose all commercial service.

Midsize airports are about to suffer double digit reductions. Kansas City is losing 16% of its flights, Tulsa down 13%.

And at the largest airports the nation's largest carrier, American Airlines announced this week it is cutting: 52 flights a day from Chicago O'Hare, 42 from Dallas-Fort Worth and 42 from La Guardia

Since most of these changes won't come until fall, many travelers may not feel the impact until they make plans for Thanksgiving.

The advice: book now, but be ready if the airline cancels the flight before November.

Rick Seaney, farecompare.com, says "So right now is a great time to start shopping for holiday travel. You are not going to get a great deal, but you can get some decent deals and maybe even a better bad deal."

It is not all doom and gloom. With fliers scared off by negative headlines on air travel many carriers have dropped fares for the July 4th holiday on flights less than 450 miles. And the more expensive fares are weeding out many travelers, so those willing to pay may have a less hectic trip.


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