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Destination Washington: Southwest Airlines Sees Surge in Reservations

By Sholnn Freeman
Southwest Airlines is reporting a 100 percent spike in ticket bookings for flights into the Washington region timed to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration.

Whitney Eichinger, a Southwest spokeswoman, said reservations began flowing in on Wednesday, as Americans rushed to line up Inauguration Day travel plans. The airline's bookings are up for the period between Jan. 16 and Jan. 20 at Dulles International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. Southwest doesn't fly into Washington Reagan-National Airport.

Coming just after the holidays, January is usually a slow season for air travel, leaving a heavy supply of low-priced seats. But thanks to the historic nature of of Barack Obama's election -- not to mention his well-documented ability to draw a crowd -- flights to Washington in January are becoming hot tickets.

Ticket-pricing analysts say travelers should expect airlines to start slapping the flights with higher fares soon, likening Inauguration Day to the Super Bowl, an event characterized by strong demand from people willing to pay to fly.

Posted at 12:02 PM ET on Nov 6, 2008  | Category:  Inauguration Week
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