UPDATE #2 – Jan. 21. The hike has failed. Prices have rolled back.
UPDATE #1 – Jan. 17. Airfare expert Rick Seaney noticed new activity Thursday evening: “It looks like United is rolling back its hike of business fares,” he said. More updates to come.
Jan. 16. Yesterday, Delta Air Lines launched an airfare hike for most of its domestic routes, but only for airfare purchased within seven days of departure – the last-minute, higher-priced airline tickets typically used by business travelers. United Airlines has now matched the new prices. [see chart below]
Hike for Business Fares
The hike is modest – up to $10 round-trip – for fares already priced from about $400 to $1,000 round-trip, depending on length of flight. Airfare expert and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney notes this is not unlike some of the activity seen last year adding, “Airlines for the moment anyway seem to be giving up on raising cheaper leisure-travel price points and upping the business fares.”
More Hike Attempts Expected
Analyst Seaney added that, “This is probably one of many attempts we’ll see this year to probe competitive and consumer business travel appetite for higher prices.” Watch for updates including matching activity (or price roll-backs) as soon as the information becomes available.