Airlines attempted to raise ticket prices five times in 2015 which may seem like a lot but not compared to this year. The 2016 timeline so far; check back for updates.
Airfare Hike – July/August 2016
- July 27 – JetBlue initiates a small hike which gains traction in August and is declared a success.
Airfare Hike – May 2016
- May 12 – Delta and Southwest launch hikes at the same time that end in success.
Airfare Hike – April 2016
Multiple April dates – Separate hike attempts are launched by a handful of different airlines for domestic routes as well as U.S./Canada flights, but most end in failure.
Airfare Hike -March 2016
- March 4 – An American-launched hike later joined by Delta and United, ends in failure.
Airfare Hikes – February 2016
Four hikes were launched this month, with mixed results. The details:
- Feb. 17 – Delta launches hike that ends in failure.
- Feb. 19 – Southwest launches successful hike.
- Feb. 10 – JetBlue launches successful hike.
- Feb. 3 – JetBlue launches hike that ends in failure.
Airfare Hike – January 2016
- Jan. 5 – Delta launches successful hike.
What the Hikes Mean and Who Will Pay
Who will pay: Most of the increased airfare will be borne by business travelers, those who procrastinate on shopping for airfare, people who live in smaller cities and/or less competitive markets.
The good news: Hikes were not detected on hotly-contested routes nor on some sale fares which typically target midweek flights.
Why are airlines raising fares: Airline investors expect carriers to squeeze as many nickels per square millimeter on aircraft as possible. At the moment, it appears the economic winds (plus steady demand for travel) are keeping those sails inflated, at least domestically.