United Airlines launched its post-holiday fare sale and many competitors followed suit.
That´s a long-standing tradition as US airlines attempt to stimulate demand during a traditionally slow period.
Some sample one-way fares, which must be purchased by １ Jan. as part of roundtrip service through March 7, include: $109 for Chicago to San Diego, $126 for Denver to San Francisco and $49 for Washington to Chicago, said the AP.
"We have this fare sale every year at this time because it helps increase demand for our off-peak travel season," said United spokeswoman Robin Urbansky.
The new fares require tickets to be purchased two weeks in advance. US itineraries also require a two-day minimum stay, among other restrictions.
FareCompare expert Neil Banton said the fare sales will affect close to 8,000 North American markets, but he noted that the select discounts were made following last week´s system-wide $5 per one-way ticket increase.
In other major airline news, US Airways says it has no intention to increase its $8.4 billion offer for Delta Air Lines. And US Chief Executive Doug Parker said the airline will pursue the takeover despite Delta´s reluctance.
´"We believe our offer is more than fair and don´t feel any need to amend it at this point,´" Mr Parker said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Asked if there is any way US Airways would drop its hostile bid for Delta absent Delta´s creditors´ committee saying it wasn´t interested, Parker indicated he didn´t see any.
"We think this is such a unique opportunity that we have an obligation to pursue it and because of that obligation we will pursue it and believe we will be successful," he said.
Delta spokesman Michael Freitag said Delta had no immediate response to Parker´s comments.
Parker´s comments came as lawyers for Delta, the nation´s third-largest carrier, said Wednesday they have scheduled a 7 Feb. hearing in bankruptcy court to consider approval of the disclosure statement to the carrier´s stand-alone reorganization plan.
The disclosure statement includes details on Delta´s operations. If the statement is approved, that means Delta can begin soliciting votes on the reorganization plan, which typically takes four to eight weeks, Delta spokesman Michael Freitag said.