FINAL UPDATE Sunday, July 22: As of late Saturday, all legacy airlines matched the United-initiated airfare hike – Delta, US Airways and American – as well as Southwest Airlines. Southwest’s participation virtually assures that the hike will stick, making this the fourth successful domestic hike of 2012. Airfare analyst Rick Seaney said, “Given that the slower fall season gets underway in late August, it is unlikely we will see another hike in the next few months.”
UPDATE Friday, July 20: Both Delta Air Lines and US Airways matched the hike attempt.
EARLIER: Airfare analyst Rick Seaney reports this morning that United Airlines has hiked airfare across the bulk of its domestic route system.
Listen as airfare expert Rick Seaney explains what this hike could mean for you.
Hikes from $4 to $10 Round-trip
Seaney said these price hikes range from $4 to $10 round-trip and vary by mileage with the larger figures being applied to longer routes.
This is the seventh hike attempt of the year and comes after a three-month long respite from hike activity. In contrast there were 22 hike attempts throughout 2011, and 14 attempts by this point in time last year. Seaney noted that the current attempt coincides with the expiration of a late summer/fall sale from Southwest Airlines. He added that oil prices have gone up recently on Middle East jitters, after briefly falling below $80 a barrel in June.
Limited Hike Activity Seen Earlier
Throughout this week, says Seaney, there has been a smattering of domestic hike activity by several carriers on a limited set of routes. Now United is attempting to extend this system-wide. FareCompare will follow the hike throughout the days to come and will update when or if other airlines join in. Said Seaney, “Historically a coin flip determines whether hike attempts broadly stick or not.”