updated 8/17/2009 2:26:33 PM ET 2009-08-17T18:26:33

An industry trade group for U.S. airlines forecast Monday that travel over the typically busy Labor Day holiday period will fall 3.5 percent this year compared with the same period in 2008.

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The Air Transport Association of America predicts that 16 million passengers will travel across the globe on U.S. carriers during the eight day period from Sept. 2 to Sept. 9. This is a decline from the 17 million passengers estimated to have traveled on U.S. airlines during the same period last year.

Despite lower fares, consumers are still keeping their wallets tight because of the recession and high energy prices.

As airlines scale back to account for lower demand, the ATA said that service cuts will be very evident this fall.

The most current schedule filings for October through December show 22 percent fewer domestic departures than in the same period of 2000 — a reduction of about 6,660 flights per day. All 67 airports in the U.S. that are defined as large or medium hub have shown a reduction in the number of scheduled flights over the last two years.

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