(WALL ST. JOURNAL) -- Airlines are resorting to a new tactic in navigating the pandemic-inspired collapse in travel: They are giving seats away.
Alaska Air Group Inc. ran 48-hour sales in August and September, offering an entire three-seat row for the price of a single ticket. Europe’s biggest airline, budget carrier Ryanair Holdings, offered 2-for-1 specials for flights through mid-December. Southeast Asia’s AirAsia brand earlier this year sold “unlimited passes,” allowing customers in some markets to travel as much as they wanted for a few months.
The deals can drum up demand and get travelers comfortable with flying again. They are also keeping at least some cash coming in the door, as airlines keep much of their fleets parked. Alaska Air usually runs 10 to 12 big promotions a year; it has recently been offering three a month.
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