Prices so low, you’ll want to fly

Janet Babin Jan 2, 2008

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: After the holidays, the money’s a little tight. And you probably just flew somewhere, so the airport is the last place you wanna be. But now is exactly the time you’ll find some great deals on flights. Marketplace’s Janet Babin reports from North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: Skybus Airlines already offers some low fares. Today, the airline begins a special rate of $20.08 on thousands of seats. And JetBlue Airways kicks off the New Year with $69 flights to limited destinations.

Airline consultant Robert Mann says discount carriers have to offer low fares now in order to compete with bigger airlines:

Robert Mann: The low-cost guys have less and less price differentiation against network carriers, and network carriers have now restructured themselves so that they can be as cost-competitive as they’ve ever been against low-cost carriers.

Mann says companies like Skybus try to make up the difference by charging for services standard on most airlines — like the $5 you’d have to pay to check a bag.

Mann expects fuel costs will push inflation on airfares in 2008. But he also expects deeper discounts for travelers willing to fly during periods of low demand, like right now.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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