Fewer fly the friendly skies - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fewer fly the friendly skies

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Another plane gets ready to depart at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany. Passengers go through the security checkpoint, screened by ever-vigilant Transportation Security Administration officials.

But this year, there are fewer passengers than in previous years. Boardings on the Delta Connection for January 2009 in Albany are down 23% versus where they were in 2008. Here too, the economy has had an affect.

"Pretty much all the money is discretionary and travel is a luxury," said Dennis Fenton of Your Travel Connection.

But despite the economic downturn, some people are still travelling. They're just giving up other stuff to do it.

"In lieu of buying, you know, 42" plasma TVs and fancy IPODs there are still individuals who still like to travel," Fenton said.

While bookings may be down a bit compared to where they were a couple of years ago, if you know where to look you can still find some good deals.

In fact Dennis says that his business has improved slightly:  "2009; it's been better than the tail end of 2008, I can tell you that."

And he's seen an interesting trend; a difference in the types of people who are travelling.

Said Fenton, "this year my group business is doing much better than it was. Reunion type stuff, family reunions, school groups, things along those lines."

Dennis is hopeful about the future in the travel business:  "things will get better," he said.

And he's hoping more people are willing to fly the friendly skies soon.