Thanksgiving dinner 1 (Photo: Index Open)

Don't let Santa be the only one visiting your family this year. Read our Christmas fare tracking coverage here.

It's not even Halloween yet and Thanksgiving flights are already on our minds. Start your planning now so you won't be left heating a TV dinner in front of the boob tube.

We're tracking holiday fares again this year, and with over a month's data to analyze, ...read more»

Christmas scene in Stowe, Vermont (Photo: Yankee Image Inc.)

Go home for a real Thanksgiving meal. Read our Thanksgiving airfare coverage here.

Keep money in your pocket for gifts by saving on holiday airfare. Track fare fluctuations so that you know when it's the right time to buy.

Christmas Flights Holding Steady

This year, we've been tracking Christmas flights on a few dozen routes and have seen fares fluctuate all over the map....read more»

Southwest 737 jet approaching runway (Photo: iStockPhoto/Lowell Sannes)

Minnesota Representative James Oberstar, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Transportation, penned a letter to the Justice Department urging the department to take a long, hard look at Southwest's proposed acquisition of AirTran. In the letter, Oberstar says he's concerned the acquisition will lead to further consolidation among low-cost carriers, a development that could have drastic effects on airfare for all. You can read the full text of Oberstar's letter here.

Mostly, however, he worries about Southwest, and whether or not the carrier can truly be called a low-cost airline for much longer. "Southwest's costs are increasing due to the seniority of its workforce, the end of its long-held advantage on fuel costs from favorable hedging positions, and its entry into high-cost markets such as New York LaGuardia, Boston, and Minneapolis-St. Paul," Oberstar writes. "There is a serious question as to the extent to which we can continue to rely on Southwest alone for the so-called 'Southwest Effect' on air fares in markets in which Southwest is the only low-cost carriers competing with network carriers."

Were the Southwest Effect to diminish, Oberstar fears other low-cost airlines will be unable to influence fares....read more»

Air Canada (Photo: Air Canada)

United and Air Canada announced a joint venture to share revenue across the U.S./Canadian border. In a release, United said, "Air Canada's transborder network to 59 U.S. cities will be strengthened by United's presence in 210 U.S. airports. Similarly, United's transborder network to 16 Canadian cities will be strengthened by Air Canada's network serving 59 communities across Canada."

The airline says the deal will likely take effect in early 2011, following the standard regulatory filings and approvals. The two airlines already have antitrust immunity from the Department of Transportation.

As with any airline partnership, the airline goes to great lengths to tout the consumer benefits...read more»

Woman with handkerchief (Photo: iStockphoto/Guillermo Perales Gonzalez)

This fall, flu season is already making its achy, feverish presence felt. Last year's flu pandemic had major travel implications, with the U.S. and other countries temporarily cautioning about travel to hard-hit areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that it's "likely that 2009 H1N1 viruses will continue to spread along with seasonal viruses in the U.S. during the 2010-2011 flu season."

Whether or not you're planning to travel this fall or winter, a flu shot may be a good idea....read more»

American Airlines 767 jet (Photo: iStockPhoto.com/Hal Bergman)

American announced it is bringing back roughly 800 furloughed pilots and flight attendants as it prepares to ramp up international service through its alliance with British Airways and Iberia. 545 flight attendants and 250 pilots will be phased in over the coming months, with the first 25 pilots returning to the sky in November.

In a release, the airline says, "Several factors contributed to the company’s ability to recall, primarily its efforts to capitalize on new international flying and business opportunities with British Airways and Iberia, continuing to strengthen its cornerstone hubs, and preparing for its pending alliance with Japan Airlines."...read more»

Photo: Southwest Airlines

What do cowboys and falcons have in common? Football fans will recognize them as two of the NFL's 32 franchises, from Dallas and Atlanta, respectively. But they're also the code names used during acquisition talks between Southwest and AirTran: Southwest, which is based in Dallas, was codenamed "Cowboy," while AirTran was "Falcon," in homage to its hub in Atlanta.

Sounds like the big shots running this thing had a little fun with it, huh?...read more»

American plane taxiing down the runway (Photo:  Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)

The tie-up between British Airways, Iberia, and American is complete. The deal will allow the three airlines, along with carriers in their oneworld alliance, to offer more codeshare flights and reduce costs.

To mark the official closing of the deal, the trio announced four new routes...read more»

Paris at dusk (Photo: Alex L. Fradkin)

The State Department's travel alert for all of Europe, issued Sunday in response to a growing threat of terrorism, has been the focus of much attention and speculation. The alert is vague about any actual threat (or threats), suggesting only that terrorists might target public transportation, airline, and maritime facilities with "a variety of means and weapons." The alert did not advise U.S. citizens against visiting Europe, but rather urged caution and increased awareness. What to make of it?...read more»

Photo: Southwest Airlines

No one, not even Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, disputes that Atlanta was the big prize in its acquisition of AirTran. "I think the story here is about Atlanta," the Dallas Morning News quotes him as saying. "[That's] where the big numbers are."

But Southwest has offered little about its specific plans for Atlanta, short of saying it will likely keep most of AirTran's service there. But simply moving in at Hartsfield-Jackson may be all it needs to do. Brian Campbell, an airline analyst who has studied Southwest closely for years, told the Morning News the airline thinks it can add 2 million passengers and save Atlanta fliers $200 million a year. Adding AirTran's 202 daily Atlanta flights to its route map would make Atlanta Southwest's third-busiest destination.

All well and good, but consumers care most about one thing—fares, and more specifically, whether they will go up, or down. But so far, it's not clear what impact the so-called Southwest Effect will have in Atlanta....read more»

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