UPDATE Sept. 14, 1:30pm EDT: The smaller hike launched by Southwest is successful, while United bailed on its attempt to broaden the hike.
UPDATE Sept. 13, 3:45pm EDT: American, Delta and US Airways plus JetBlue and Virgin America have all matched the limited market hike launched by Southwest. United, meanwhile, remains out on a limb with its broader attempt to raise fares. It is pretty clear the increase on the limited set of routes is going to stick, but the tepid response to United’s move will likely force a rollback on routes that don’t overlap.
Sept. 13, 1012: Yesterday afternoon, Southwest Airlines raised its airfare prices by $10 round-trip on approximately 400 routes – which is about 10% of the airline’s total route system.
Later in the evening, United began matching those higher prices but United also began extending the hikes to a much broader range of routes. United failed in an attempt to hike prices just three weeks ago.
As for the current hike, there was no matching activity as of 10:00am EDT this morning, but I expect quite a bit of matching later today as any lead by Southwest has been traditionally matched quickly.