After initiating an elimination of discounts aimed at business fliers, Continental Airlines announced a restructured “MaxSaver” program Tuesday that is expected to boost most remaining cut-rate fares.
Continental said MaxSaver fares--which are used by most vacation travelers--would be based on the length of a flight under the new formula.
Competition on individual routes, not mileage, had determined the fares in the past.
It was not immediately clear whether other big carriers would follow Continental’s move, but the airline has been the pacesetter on fares in recent years.
The airline planned to notify travel agents about the new fares Tuesday night and today, spokesman Ned Walker said in a telephone interview from Continental’s headquarters in Houston. He said the new MaxSaver fares would take effect next Wednesday.
“You will see some MaxSavers going up and some MaxSavers going down,” Walker said. “We are returning air fares to a more rational level.”
‘Out of Whack’
He said fares for longer flights generally would be raised and those for shorter hauls would mostly be reduced.