As airfare expert and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney explains it, airlines don’t come right out and demand more of your money. They prefer what some might call the sneaky approach, attempting to raise ticket prices quietly. Often travelers don’t know what hit them until it’s time to go shopping.
Fare Hike Attempts, 11 – Successes, 4
While it’s true most of the hike attempts of 2014 were unsuccessful, Seaney notes airlines did try raising prices 11 times and succeeded four of those times. He fully expects and they’ll keep trying. See the chart below for the latest hike information.
What to Know about Fare Hikes
How it works: One carrier quietly raises ticket prices and waits a day or two, hoping other airlines join in and if they do – bingo – the higher prices stand. If, however, other airlines don’t join in, the carrier that launched the hike quietly rolls it back.
Successful hikes: There have been four successful hikes so far in 2014, which means hikes have been sticking only about 36% of the time. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Who pays more: With a single exception, the successful hikes were either aimed squarely at last-minute business travelers (and mostly their bosses who pick up these tabs) or on flights between the U.S. and Canada. In other words, most hikes did not affect the vast majority of vacation travelers. The one exception only raised fares between $4 and $10 per round-trip ticket.
Don’t get caught: Don’t pay more than you have to – and that could happen if you buy during the window when airlines watch to see if the competition joins in. Watch for airfare hike attempt information from Rick Seaney here on FareCompare News Blog.