Planes expected to be crowded this holiday season - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Planes expected to be crowded this holiday season

With the economy suffering, what can we expect with air travel this upcoming holiday season?  While the number of people travelling may be down, planes will still be crowded.

Just a little more than four weeks to Thanksgiving.  So if you want to travel by air, you'd better get your tickets.

Consumers have a lot on their minds these days, with the faltering economy and the election just ahead.  So travel this holiday season may be the last thing they're thinking about.

Trish Burke of the Regional Airport Authority says, "As far as Thanksgiving is concerned, the airlines are seeing a little bit lighter demand then they saw previously.  So it's still a month or so out, so we'll have to just wait and see."

Several airlines have said they expect their planes to be full this year, largely because they have taken so many seats out of the air -- a decision that was made when fuel costs were soaring.  Even though fuel costs have dropped, fares have not.

Burke also says, "Nationwide, fares are up about 4% compared to a year ago.  Here in Louisville they are running about what they were a year ago at this time."

Those in the industry say most people who travel over the holidays are visting family and not heading for a vacation destination, and that is the case in good and bad economic times.

Nancy Bost, a AAA travel consultant, explains, "I haven't noticed any ski resorts or other places offering discounts.  Cruises are being discounted, but it's the cruise only because of your air fare being more expensive."

Because air fares are high and gasoline prices are falling, travellers may chose to go by car this year.  But no one can say for certain how long gasoline prices will continue to fall.

So if you are thinking about flying, Burke says, "Its not too late, there are still some good prices out there, but they need to look now and if they see a fare they believe is a good value to them, they should go ahead and get it while they can."

The Airport Authority has a website that has the latest flights and fares out of Louisville International.

You can get to it by going to the News Link above.

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