Summary Box: Why planes are packed

AP News
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Posted: Sep 13, 2011 3:45 PM
Summary Box: Why planes are packed

WHY PLANES ARE SO FULL: Since 2008, airlines have eliminated unprofitable routes, increased partnerships and shifted to smaller planes because of high fuel costs and fewer travelers. In July and August this year, U.S. airlines sold 86.4 percent of available seats, a record.

WHAT IT MEANS: Planes will be slightly more cramped and airlines will have a greater ability to raise fares.

BIG PICUTRE: By keeping planes full, airlines should be able to keep fares high to cover increased fuel costs and turn a profit.