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Airfares to Philly zooming up

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  February 7, 2012 11:57 AM

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Don't say we didn't warn you. My pal Katie Johnston wrote this morning that flights from Boston to Philly would double in price to about $520 after Southwest drops the service Feb. 11, leaving US Airways as the sole nonstop carrier on the route.

Last week I wrote that Southwest would have no nonstop service between New England and Philly after it halted its five daily Boston nonstops to the City of Brotherly Love this Saturday. The carrier announced in July that it would halt its four nonstops to Philadelphia from both T.F. Green in Warwick, R.I., and Boston Manchester Airport in New Hampshire in January.

Southwest representatives have said that the carrier halted the 1 1/2-hour flights because they simply didn't generate enough revenue. And this isn't the first time that airlines dropped the route and left travelers holding the bag. This is what Katie wrote:

AirTran Airways, now owned by Southwest, stopped flying between the two cities in late 2007, sending the cheapest round-trip ticket soaring to $344 from $152.

The price climbed to $462 when Delta Air Lines pulled out in 2009. US Airways was the sole nonstop carrier on the route, charging a whopping $1,100 round trip, until Southwest entered the market in 2010.

Bottom line is that right now Boston-area air travelers have only two options to get to Philly: either US Airways or Streamline Air, which flies 30-seat turboprops nonstop between Hanscom Field in Bedford and Trenton-Mercer Airport, about 35 miles from Philadelphia, for as low as $200.

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