And They're Off . . .

Cheap airfares spur Americans to travel, but they're traveling cheap

For the moment, anyway, the summer fire sale by U.S. air carriers is over. But now other travel-related businesses, especially hotels, are scrambling for a piece of the action by offering rock-bottom prices and vacation specials. That's good news for American travelers clutching cheap, freshly purchased air tickets. But after two years of waiting for consumers to get the wanderlust again, many travel firms see the boom as a mixed blessing.

On the one hand, business is definitely up. Says Ken Hine, president of the American Hotel and Motel Association: "The airfare war has been the greatest stimulus I have seen...

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