Expert sources are split on the fate of airfares in 2009. NBTA projects airfares to rise by 7% to 10% excluding ancillary fees, which could add another 5% to the price of an airline ticket. Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) forecasts a 5% to 8% increase in domestic airfares and a 3% to 5% bump in international airfares.

In contrast, Egencia (formerly Expedia Corporate Travel) projects domestic airfares may decline as much as 16% in some markets and sees a 4% to 17% drop in international airfares. American Express has hedged its bets, projecting 2009 U.S. domestic economy class ticket prices to cost between -5% to +5% of 2008 prices and international long-haul business class fares to increase between 1% and 6%.

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