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Southwest pops June sale; more fare hikes likely

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  April 26, 2011 12:00 PM

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Southwest just announced a sale for travel through June 29. You have until May 2 to buy tickets and a 14-day advance purchase is required. Discounted fares are available every day except Fridays and Sundays and May 26, 30 and 31 are blacked out.

Here are some sample one ways fares from Boston: to Baltimore and Pittsburgh as low as $49; Raleigh/Durham for $64; Jackson, Miss., for $139; Chicago for $151; Orlando for $155; Kansas City $163; and Minneapolis/St. Paul $165.

This may or may not be the sale for you, but if you're planning to travel this summer you would do well to keep your eyes open and jump when you see something that looks good. Carriers have raised prices about a half dozen times this year amid surging fuel prices, and we can expect more of the same.

Delta, which is the second-largest carrier in the work, just posted a smaller than expected first-quarter loss, saying that higher fares helped offset rocketing fuel costs. Richard Anderson, the airline's chief executive, said in a statement that "Delta is actively reducing capacity, implementing fare actions, hedging our fuel needs and attacking our cost structure.” In English that means Delta will be cutting costs, partly by trimming flights, and looking hard for opportunities to raise prices.

As quarterly earnings reports roll in it's clear that all of Delta's competitors are basically in the same boat. In the last week, United, Continental, American, and today US Airways, all have said they finished in the red, due to fuel expenses. The only carrier in the black was Southwest, and they just squeaked by.

Suffice it to say, this isn't shaping up to be a great year for air travel.



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