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)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at . Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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