The Latest Airfare Hike and What It Means to You

With four of the major airlines raising their prices, talked to FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney about recent increases in 2011, holiday travel and days to avoid traveling.


ABC News: Which airlines have raised fares?

Rick Seaney: As of noon today, Delta (who was the initiator), United/Continental, American and US Airways.

ABC: How many increases this year?

RS: Seventeen attempts with eight prior successes, six of which were before March 1 this year.

ABC: This is pretty common leading into the holidays. Anything different this time around?

RS: This is not very common. We have not seen domestic hike attempts in October or November since 2007 when oil prices were skyrocketing ahead of the recession in 2009.

I talk about airfare hikes on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer:

ABC: What are the best tips for fliers to get the best holiday fares?  Or is it too late?

RS: Fliers need to be shopping and buying now for Thanksgiving and have until early November for Christmas. Avoid the busiest and most expensive days which are Wednesday before and Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving, and the Mondays after Christmas and New Years.

Thanksgiving Travel Guide – 5 Best Tips to Find Cheap Flights

ABC: What’s your message to someone planning a trip over the holidays?

RS: There are really no holiday deals – you are going to pay a premium. It is all about getting a better bad deal which means you should not procrastinate.

ABC: Is the looming tax increase driving this, in your estimation?

RS: I don’t think the potential tax increase is a driver. Airlines tend to probe consumers and other airlines appetites for higher ticket prices when they feel demand is relatively strong. Demand seems to belying the daily sour economic headlines.


Published: October 19, 2011