Major Air Carriers Increase Fares Again
September 14, 2012- Following Southwest Airlines’ lead, a number of the major airlines raised airfares again. Southwest increased its fares Wednesday for round trip fares by $10 on over 10% of all its routes with the U.S. Later on Wednesday, United Airlines responded by increasing fares on nearly all of its routes in the U.S.
A spokesperson for United said the fares were raised to help cover the costs of doing business, which are increasing regularly. Delta Air Lines matched the price hike of United, while American Airlines announced it raised its prices on some flights. JetBlue and U.S. Airways matched the increase made by Southwest, while Virgin America matched those broader increases made by United.
Thus far in 2012, four fare increases have been made by the major airlines in the U.S. That figure is about half of what took place last year through nine months. No fare hikes have taken place in the past month. Delta lead an attempt to increase prices last week, but that failed.
An analyst from J.P. Morgan said the probability was high that the fare increase this week would stick.
Southwest transports more passengers than all other airlines in the U.S. and increases in fares often times remain or are rescinded depending upon what Southwest decides.
Even though airlines are constantly increasing their fares, they nearly always run sales to undercut the higher base prices that impact passengers. For example, on Wednesday American Airlines said it was going to offer special on certain routes in the U.S. for two days.