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CNN Today

Airfares Flying High

Aired February 21, 2000 - 2:18 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: First gas prices, now, airfares are taking off. Here's CNN travel correspondent Kalin Thomas-Samuel.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KALIN THOMAS-SAMUEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard to keep up with airfares these days. This past Friday, Continental increased ticket prices by $10 to $30 on round-trip fares. And by Sunday, American, Delta, TWA, United, and US Airways had followed suit.

But by this morning, American, Delta, TWA, and US Airways had dropped their ticket increase, citing that Northwest never raised its fares. And there's no telling if other airlines will also go back to pre-increase prices.

When the major U.S. airlines added a surcharge to their ticket prices last month, they said it was because of rising fuel costs.

TERRY TRIPPLER, 1TRAVEL.COM: They started off 2000 with this fuel surcharge, and we expect to see that, as we go through 2000, the airlines will continue to have fare increases. I predict that when 2000 is over,, the pleasure traveler will find that they are paying more for air travel than they did when 2000 began.

THOMAS-SAMUEL: Travelers seem to be willing to pay more.

CHRIS MCGINNIS, TRAVELSKILLS.COM: The economy's doing very well and, you know, despite higher prices, people are still buying tickets. So that, you know, for the airlines, it just, you know, gives them pleasure to go ahead and keep charging more.

THOMAS-SAMUEL: And those who would rather drive aren't off the hook either. According to AAA, gas prices jumped almost eight cents per gallon this month, with gasoline and crude oil prices reaching nine-year highs.

Kalin Thomas-Samuel, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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