Monday AM February 9th, 2009

What’s bad news for the travel industry is good news for the consumer. Ed mayberry reports.


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Airlines cut back their capacities last year in response to skyrocketing fuel prices.  But Travelocity Senior Editor Genevieve Shaw Brown says there’s been such soft demand for seats, airlines have been forced to cut their prices.

“Now this is a good thing for consumers.  You know, we’ve been hearing for years and years about higher air fares, higher air fares, and finally they’re coming down.  In fact, March through April, air fares are down to 41 of the nation’s top 50 domestic destinations.  Whether it will continue remains to be seen.  Certainly if the economy coninues to be cool, the airlines will have to lower their prices to spark demand to get people in the seats.  However, further capacity cuts beyond what’s already been planned, that could bring prices back up.”  

Brown says prices could still drop further, especially if you’re flexible with your dates of travel.  She says Travelocity works with its partners to find the best travel deals.

“I haven’t seen deals like this in years.  So it’s actually making it very easy to bring these deals to our customers, which is great for us and great for out partners.  But one of the things that is real important for travelers to remember, when they’re going to the site like Travelocity, always want to be thinking about booking a vacation package — flight plus hotel.  We did a study and found that the average savings is $315, versus booking the elements of the same exact trip separately.”

Most 2009 cruises are expected to be booked between now and March.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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