The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of days running together around here—and the move to the new terminal really isn’t over: boxes are still being unpacked, people are still feeling their way around the new environment, and new systems are still being tuned and tweaked. All that said, the dust is settling…and now that my desk is set-up (and cleared-off), it’s time to review the past few months at the airport, and in the industry in general.
“Passenger traffic is still falling on nearly all U.S. airlines, but the steep nosedive in March gave way to a more gentle decline in April, raising hopes that the worst of the travel slump may be over.”
That’s the lede in a story from the Associated Press last week. It sounds like good news, but the AP goes on to note that industry analysts think the increase in passenger traffic is due to fare sales. Absolutely—airlines are all but giving away some tickets in an effort to sell seats.
Don’t believe it? Yesterday, on the reservations page of the airport web site, customers purchased the following:
- Springfield to San Antonio, via Dallas roundtrip, on American. $238.40. Eight months ago I would have expected this trip to cost at least $600—perhaps as high as $1000.
- Springfield to Dallas, via Memphis, on Northwest, one-way: $95.70.
- Springfield to Rochester, NY, via Chicago, roundtrip, on American: $330.90.
- Springfield to Chicago, roundtrip, on American: $216.20.
These prices include taxes and fees.
It goes without saying that not all the fares are this low. And I can hear the griping right now from those of you who haven’t found them this low. Want to know one of the secrets of finding them? Purchase early. The fares listed above were purchased at least a month before departure.