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BEST FARES REPORTS ON AIRLINES OFFERING NEW DISCOUNT FARES

 BEST FARES REPORTS ON AIRLINES OFFERING NEW DISCOUNT FARES
 ARLINGTON, Texas, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In the past two days several of the country's airlines have been juggling their promotional fares. On June 15, America West announced a new $98 companion fare for passengers flying from Denver to most western cities. This move was matched, in select markets, by both Continental and United airlines; both carriers have hubs in Denver. Additionally, on June 16 Continental retaliated with a separate promotional $118 companion fare in cities where America West offers non-stop service from Phoenix, which is a strong-hold hub for America West.
 "The message given to America West by Continental is a strong one," says travel expert Tom Parsons, publisher of Best Fares discount travel magazine. "When America West announced their promotion, it affected Continental's hub and it's an unwritten rule not to mess with another carrier's hub."
 Originally, America West's $98 companion offer was due to expire on June 22. However, it will now expire as of midnight tonight, June 17. According to Parsons, "now that America West has backed down there could be a domino effect." The question arises as to whether Continental and United will cancel their Denver-based $98 companion fares to the west coast. Continental could also decide to discontinue its offer of $118 companion fares from Phoenix, which is due to expire June 22. Deregulation prohibits the airlines from communicating with one another to set prices, "but there appears to be ways around the system; especially when an airline can communicate through its computer reservation system," says Parsons.
 "It appears America West has started a new marketing strategy in order to fill seats on their planes," says Parsons. The Denver offer is the third promotional companion fare the airline has offered since May 22. They initiated this pricing system on May 22 with $98 companion fares from Seattle and Portland to select cities in southern California, as well as to Florida from the northeast. However, the Florida promotion was canceled when the 50 percent fare war was put in effect but the Seattle and Portland discounts, which was not matched by any other carriers, are still available and not due to expire until June 24.
 In order for consumers to take advantage of these and other new promotional fares, they are going to have to keep abreast of what is going on in the industry on a daily basis. "These fares have been moving up and down like a yo-yo," says Parsons. Additionally, he says selecting one city over another can save travelers hundreds of dollars. For instance, if you're flying to Florida from Phoenix, you should fly to Orlando instead of Tampa or if you are trying to go to Philadelphia you should consider flying to New York or Washington, D.C. to take advantage of Continental's $118 companion fare.
 To interview travel expert Tom Parsons please call Lois Fuhr at 1-800-359-9223/
 -0- 6/17/92
 /CONTACT: Lois Fuhr of Best Fares, 800-359-9223/ CO: Best Fares ST: Texas IN: AIR SU:


PS-OS -- NY063 -- 1192 06/17/92 15:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 17, 1992
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