Posted January 22, 2009 by Nicki Krawczyk
Arizona football fans, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. First, the bad news: Fares for nonstop flights to Tampa from Arizona and back are up. Way up. If you can even find any by the time you read this story. For Friday arrival in Tampa and a Monday return to Phoenix, US Airways has flights from $1,323 and $1,747. If you don’t mind hanging out in an airport, oh, overnight for a stopover, you can get a flight on Continental from $527. American will offer you significantly less stopover time, but to the tune of $1,214 and up. (I should also point out that these prices and availability are accurate at the time of writing this story. Thereafter, you’re on your own, kids.)
OK, now for the good news: The economic laws of supply and demand are still in full force! Wait, wait, this really is good news; bear with me for a sec. These prices have gone up because more people want to take these flights. But, by those same laws, prices go way down when the flights aren’t as popular. When these same airlines offer flights for 60 bucks, we’re happy, right? Economically, it’s a good thing that airlines are still raising prices while the demand is high and lowering prices while the demand is low.
But, of course, if you don’t have a nice chunk of change to set aside for one of these flights, this good economic news might not adequately cheer you. Therefore, I’ll offer a few ideas for alternate means of travel.
Drive. Unemployment is up, but gas prices are down! Rent a car or take your own and, even with a night or two in a hotel, it’ll probably net out cheaper than a flight.
Walk. You could scarcely ask for a more pleasant trek than Phoenix to Tampa in the winter. Why, Northerners wish they could enjoy such a pleasant jaunt.
Bicycle. Looking to whittle that waist per your New Year’s resolution? Hop on a bike and burn some serious cross-country calories.
Take a bus. No, I’m just kidding; no one likes the bus.
Pretend. The real Tampa may just not be an option for you. But don’t despair! You’ve still got a TV, right? Well, fill the bathtub with saltwater, pop a couple of construction paper palm trees on your rec room walls and throw on a pair of black socks under your sandals. Presto! Instant Tampa Super Bowl weekend, right in the comfort of your very own home. Sure, it’s not the ideal, but it’s definitely a solution: Skip the plane ride, pass the nachos, and go, team, go.
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