updated 11/14/2005 4:13:21 PM ET 2005-11-14T21:13:21

Despite the financial problems many major airlines are experiencing, the skies could still be crowded during the coming holiday travel season.

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According to the Airline Quality Rating, which is compiled at Wichita State University, the airline industry is in a very competitive mode.

Report co-author Dean Headley says holiday travel prices are higher than last year, but some good deals may be available at the last minute - especially for people who book online.

Headley expects traffic volumes will compare with last year, when approximately 110 million people flew somewhere in the U.S. during November and December.

And even with higher prices, he predicts this year will be the busiest holiday travel season since 2000.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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