Latest Airfare Hike Attempt Ends in Failure for Delta

UPDATE #4 – Sept. 3: Rick Seaney analyzes the latest failure: “Outside of the current jitters regarding the economy and oil prices, I think it will be hard for Delta and United to push through an airfare hike, at least while American and US Airways are embroiled in a court case. My guess is that neither one of these airlines wants to be associated with headlines announcing increases of any type during this period. Without them, Delta and United would need Southwest to enter the fray which has so far this year shown no appetite for doing so.”

UPDATE #3 – Sept. 2: Airfare analyst Rick Seaney reports, “Delta has bailed out of the hike.” The latest attempt at raising airline ticket prices – the tenth such attempt of 2013 – has failed (see chart below).

UPDATE #2 – Sept. 2: United has reversed course and rolled back its matching prices.

UPDATE #1 – Aug. 31: United Airlines has matched Delta’s hike.

Aug. 30: According to airfare analyst Rick Seaney, Delta Air Lines has raised airfares from $4 to $10 round-trip across the bulk of its route system.

Hikes for Leisure Travelers

Seaney points out that, unlike some of the most recent hike attempts affecting departures inside 7 days – fares popular with last-minute business travelers – the latest effort includes fares directed at leisure travelers.

Pace of Hikes Slower than Previous Years

Watch for updates here. Note: A hike attempt is considered to be a success by the airline if competing carriers join in by matching the higher prices. If this doesn’t happen, the initiating carrier rolls back its prices. So far this year, only two airfare hikes have stuck, both of which were initiated by Delta back in April and February. The airlines had better luck with hikes in previous years:


Published: August 30, 2013