Busier airports, full planes seen on Thanksgiving
Flights will be packed tighter because there are fewer of them. Airlines have been reducing flights to match demand, which in turn allows them to raise prices. Domestic fares are up 4 percent so far this year compared with the first ten months of 2011, according to the industry group. Kiefer expects that slight increase in fares to continue as airlines keep scaling back when they can.
Cutting flights also allows airlines to save on fuel, often their biggest expense.
Collectively U.S. airlines' revenue rose 5.6 percent in the first nine months of this year. Fuel costs rose by 6.2 percent, cutting the amount earned per passenger. On average the 10 largest U.S. airlines made just 50 cents for every passenger they flew from January through September, Airlines for America said.
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