For travel industry in 2009, uncertainty rules

12/29/2008 | Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)

Americans will trade "down but not out" in their travel plans next year, according to a survey by the Travel Industry Association, which predicts an overall decline of 1.3% in leisure travel for 2009. Airlines "still face an era of uncertainty," says a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, noting that fuel prices are up 372% since 2002 despite the recent decline. "We still face the possibility of pandemics, hurricane seasons and other events that have every opportunity to drive the cost of our business back up," he says.

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