Airlines slash holiday fares into Aspen
December 19, 2008
ASPEN ” Not only are airline seats into Aspen still available for the Christmas holidays, they’re surprisingly affordable.
A check of airfares late Thursday produced an eye-popper for Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a local reservations agency, and the resort’s liaison to the airline industry.
Both United and Frontier were offering $119 one-way fares between Aspen and Denver through Jan. 5, and some fares were listed as low as $109 one-way, before taxes and fees.
“I could book you that seat tomorrow for $119. Last year, that seat would have cost you $450,” he said. “I’ve never seen fares this cheap in Aspen at Christmas.”
In a typical year, no commercial airline seats would remain available in and out of Aspen for the holidays, Tomcich said. Because seats are still unsold this season, the airlines are reacting.
“They’re responding to the empty seats they have with lower fares ” like I have never seen during the Christmas season,” he said. “There are some bargains out there.”
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While the seats are readily available, they’re easier to find with the help of a travel agent who has access to information that the general consumer does not, according to Tomcich. However, a quick search on Travelocity Thursday evening produced the $119 fare ($238 round-trip) on both Frontier and United with the arrival date of Dec. 20 and departure on Dec. 27.
Travelers will still pay a premium for flying into Aspen on Dec. 26 and leaving on Jan. 2 ” the most popular travel days during the holiday season, Tomcich said. Seats on those dates will be difficult secure, but he did find a roundtrip, first-class seat ” between Aspen and Denver on United ” for $2,866.
Delta, which begins daily service between Atlanta and Aspen on Saturday, and two daily flights between Aspen and Salt Lake City next week, has not slashed fares, but the airline has far fewer seats to sell in the Aspen market, Tomcich noted.
And, the Atlanta connection will be key in serving the Florida market, he added, putting those seats in demand.