United Airlines has launched a post-holiday fare sale intended to stimulate demand during a traditionally slow period, and many of its competitors have followed suit.
One-way fares, which must be purchased by Jan. 9 as part of round-trip services through March 7, include $109 for Chicago to San Diego, $126 for Denver to San Francisco and $49 for Washington to Chicago.
The lower North American fares were published by Chicago-based United, a unit of UAL Corp., late Tuesday and were matched Wednesday by AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc., Northwest Airlines Corp., US Airways Group Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc., according to the air travel website FareCompare.
"We have this fare sale every year at this time because it helps increase demand for our off-peak travel season," United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said.
Tickets must be purchased 14 days in advance, and U.S. itineraries require a two-day minimum stay, among other restrictions.
FareCompare's Neil Bainton said the fare sales affected nearly 8,000 North American markets, but he noted that the select discounts were made after last week's systemwide increase of $5 for each one-way ticket.