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Air Fares Awaiting Takeoff

Air Fares Awaiting Takeoff

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(Undated-AP) -- The airlines' latest attempt at an across-the-board fare increase just failed. It was their third try at raising prices in the last two months, according to Bestfares-dot-com chief executive Tom Parsons.

He says we'll continue to see fare increases, but the question is: Will they fly?

The airlines lost about 15 billion dollars during the past two years, and Parsons says they've got to at least keeping trying to hike fares because they can't afford their current prices.

For example, you can now fly to Europe from at least 14 cities on the East Coast for about 200 dollars round trip.

Parsons says Delta is even offering a round trip from San Francisco to Munich for just 199 dollars round trip during March. That's less than two cents a mile -- and the Bestfares chief says the flight costs the airline about ten-to-12 cents per mile.

Yet, with the threat of war now scaring off some travelers, Parsons says we're probably more likely to see more cutthroat discounts -- not higher fares.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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