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Northwest offering holiday discounts

Airline announces reduced-fare flights are available during November and December.

MINNEAPOLIS — Northwest Airlines Corp. launched a holiday fare sale on Thursday, including a handful of “Super Bargain Days” aimed at filling its planes during November and December.

It’s the first time in two years Northwest has launched a domestic fare sale. Some of the fares included $89 one-way from Milwaukee to Philadelphia, and $99 one-way for Detroit to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Travelers using the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport can take advantage of the sale, said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch. The program applies to “all of the domestic markets we serve.”

Northwest operates two round-trip flights daily from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to its hub in Detroit.

However, Ebenhoch cautioned the fares are subject to availability.

The cheapest fares require travel on Thanksgiving or the day after, with a return trip the following Wednesday. The other “Super Bargain Day” falls on Christmas. Smaller discounts are spread between Nov. 16 and Jan. 8.

The fares require a seven-day advance purchase for travel between Nov. 16 and Jan. 8, with a two-day minimum stay.

UAL Corp.’s United Airlines matched Northwest’s holiday fare sale, spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said.

Northwest runs some of the fullest planes in the business. In September, its mainline domestic flights ran 78.6 percent full. But Ebenhoch said the airline believed it could improve its performance on some of its slower days.

The sale “was an effort to stimulate demand on certain travel days where we saw an opportunity,” he said.

He declined to say how many seats were available at the lower fares, but added, “It varies by day. Demand is not as strong on some days, and on those days there are a generous number of seats available.”

Airlines generally have been raising fares because of fuel prices.

Northwest’s sale comes as Southwest Airlines Co. is locked in its own fare war against American Airlines, selling one-way tickets to and from Dallas for as little as $39.

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