UPDATE 4-11-11: The airfare hike has collapsed; expect another try sometime soon.
UPDATE 4-10-11: United finally jumped in, meaning all the legacy airlines matched the price hike. However, over the weekend, some competitive rollback activity was filed by American and Delta as they danced around the competitive low cost airlines which did not match (as of 10am today). The hike, still in progress, is now in jeopardy of crumbling.
UPDATE 4-8-11: American Airlines and Continental have matched this latest price hike – though oddly, United did not (this is the first time we haven’t seen United match in unison with Continental). Meanwhile, there was no significant matching activity from any of the low cost airlines – yet.
Airlines Raise Ticket Prices Again
Yesterday afternoon (4-7-11), US Airways initiated the tenth attempted domestic airfare hike of 2011. This latest try upped prices by $10 roundtrip, across the bulk of the airline’s U.S. route system. See my timeline chart below to see all the airfare hike attempts this year – and how many have been successful.
Cheap Flights: Harder to Find, but Not Impossible
What’s especially interesting about this particular move is that historically, US Airways has always been reticent to start airfare hikes, and in most cases has been the last join these increase attempts.
Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines matched this latest hike as of yesterday evening. We’ll keep you posted on whether other airlines join the party.
This does not mean cheap flights have completely disappeared; it just means they’re harder to find, which is why you need to sign up for FareCompare Airfare Alerts more than ever. It’s simple: if there are airfare sales or discounts on the trips you want to take, we tell you about them – instantly.
Airfare Hike Chart for 2011
If you think airfare hike attempts are happening fast and furiously, you’re right. Consider that back in April of 2008 – when the price of oil was very similar to today’s costs – there were four attempted hikes and each was successful. As you can see below, the hikes of 2011 have gone beyond that:
Watch this space for further updates.
Learn more about FareCompare and the cheapest days to fly and best times to buy airline tickets - and learn how to save big.