Open season on travel bargains: Fall airfares down 17 percent, Vegas is a steal


vegasTravel was a bargain this summer. Travel still is a bargain.

The average airfare this summer — June through Labor Day — was $247, compared with $306 for the same period a year ago, according to Bing. That’s a 19 percent decline.

The deals are not about to take off, either.

I asked Bing to take a look at future bookings.

Fall fares through Thanksgiving were down 17 percent ($234 in 2009 vs. $283 in 2008).

So much for an “imminent” rebound in rates predicted by many so-called travel experts.

Here are a few details:

Top five least expensive destinations for fall travel:


1. Milwaukee, WI (MKE): Average airfare is $197 in 2009 as compared to $279 last year
2. Denver, CO (DEN): Average airfare is $212 in 2009 as compared to $269 last year
3. Kansas City, MO (MCI): Average airfare is $213 in 2009 as compared to $242 last year
4. Baltimore, MD (BWI): Average airfare is $214 in 2009 as compared to $254 last year
5. Tampa, FL (TPA): Average airfare is $221 in 2009 as compared with $233 last year

Top five least expensive cities for fall premium hotels are:

1. Las Vegas: $127 in 2009 v $157 in 2008
2. Miami: $139 in 2009 v $175 in 2008
3. Tampa: $141 in 2009 v $187 in 2008
4. Atlanta: $145 in 2009 v $165 in 2008
5. Phoenix: $146 in 2009 v $179 in 2008

What to make of these numbers?

Get out there and travel now. We may never see prices like this again.

(Photo: Roadsidepictures/Flickr Creative Commons)

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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