Delta's Latest Attempt to Raise Airfares Ends in Failure

UPDATE #3 April 23 – 4 p.m. EDT. Airfare analyst Rick Seaney reports that Delta is bailing out and that the hike attempt has failed.

UPDATE #2: April 23 – 11 a.m. EDT. Hawaiian Airlines has matched the hike on the Hawaii routes, but that’s it for matching activity and airfare analyst Rick Seaney says he “would be surprised if Delta hangs on much longer.”

UPDATE #1: April 23 – 9 a.m. EDT. No matching activity so far.

April 22 – 1 p.m. EDT. It’s been barely a week since Delta Air Lines launched its most recent airfare hike, but now it seems – time for another.

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Hike Raises Some Ticket Prices by $10

According to airfare analyst Rick Seaney, the new hike adds up to $10 to round-trip tickets across a significant portion of the Atlanta-based carrier’s domestic route system [see chart below].

Seaney said, “The hike mainly focuses on mid-range and long-haul routes to smaller cities, along with Hawaii and Alaska,” adding that it spares the “most frequented non-stop routes.” The analyst also pointed out that the scope of this latest hike is about one-third the size of a typical system wide domestic increase.

Pre-Summer Vacation Hike

Seaney suggests it all comes down to the airlines trying to position themselves for the upcoming busy summer vacation season: “Given concerns about persistent air traffic control delays due to FAA sequestration furloughs, this may be the last chance for carriers to lock in summer rates,” said the analyst, while noting that in the past two years, domestic airlines have not attempted domestic hikes in either May or June.

Seventh Hike of the Year

So far, domestic airlines have had limited success raising base prices this year – especially when it comes to price-sensitive leisure travelers. Meantime, the pace of hikes ofr 2013 is running slightly ahead of last year which ended with seven successes out of 15 hike attempts in total.

Watch for updates here – we’ll post as they become available.




Published: April 22, 2013