Holiday airfares likely going up | AspenTimes.com

Holiday airfares likely going up

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Travelers who pass through Denver will continue to see the benefits of airline competition this holiday season but tickets likely will cost more, travel industry consultants say.

And they may want to book tickets pretty soon because even though it’s just mid-October, the lowest fares already may be gone, the consultants advised.

Bob Harrell, a New York-based airfare consultant, told The Denver Post in Sunday’s editions that the lowest leisure fares sold earlier this month out of Denver were an average of 16 percent higher than a comparable period in 2006 when some airlines were offering promotional fares on more popular routes.

“The fare fights that erupted a year ago were maybe a little overdone, and now fares are coming back from introductory levels,” Harrell said.

Other factors in the price increases include rising oil prices and more passengers traveling, industry consultants said.

Travelers have benefited from lower fares since Southwest Airlines began flying from Denver International Airport in January 2006, joining an aggressive competition between United Airlines and Frontier Airlines.

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“With Southwest continuing their expansion, with Frontier being there, expanding their wings to the international destinations, I think you’re getting a pretty good mix of decent airfares, but still higher than they were last year,” said Tom Parsons, publisher of BestFares.com in Arlington, Texas.