Business

Because of lower fuel prices and strong demand, airline earnings are flying high

There was an unmistakable shift in tone in the airline industry this week as the nation’s top carriers all reported record earnings. The airlines kept their planes full as they reaped the benefits of their long drive to consolidate the industry into fewer, bigger carriers. The financial performance was particularly striking because the first quarter is traditionally the weakest of the year.

Travel

Travel Q&A: Renting a car can cause sticker shock

Q: Has anybody tried to rent a car lately? We are attending a family reunion in Minnesota in September, so I thought I’d jump online and lock in a great rate with an advance booking. But holy smokes — the rates are semi-astronomical. Do car rentals ever hit a sweet spot, like how airline tickets are allegedly at their best price 54 days before travel? Any suggestions on when to buy?

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