Friday, April 10, 2009

Summer flights cheaper this year

Summer airfares from Atlanta are down 19 percent on average compared with last year, according to online fare forecaster Live Search Farecast.

The average summer airfare this year from Atlanta is $253 round trip, down from $313 last summer. That’s a bigger drop than Farecast’s national decline of 9 percent in average summer fares.

The declines come as the recession keeps would-be travelers at home and airlines turn to discounting to fill planes. Carriers including Delta Air Lines Atlanta flights plan to further cut flight capacity.

The cheapest leisure destinations from Atlanta are to some of Florida’s most popular destinations. Average round-trip summer fares are $171 to Miami, $182 to Tampa and Orlando, and $189 to Fort Myers, according to the data.

The biggest drops from Atlanta were to Columbus, Ohio, where average summer fares fell to $182 from $434 last year. Other big drops came on flights to Norfolk, Va., Oakland, Calif., and Cancun, Mexico.

Fares to Europe from Atlanta are down 17 percent, while fares to Mexico and the Caribbean from Atlanta are down 13 percent, the Farecast data show.

But fares on some routes have increased, including to Savannah. The average summer fare to Savannah is $265 round trip, up from $167 last year. AirTran Airways discontinued flights from Atlanta to Savannah last October, reducing competition for Delta on the route.

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