Update 2: 3rd Domestic U.S. Airfare Hike in 6 Weeks

There have been several requests today to rundown the airfare hike from last week and I just spent about an hour reviewing this the U.S. domestic airfare distributions over the weekend and today.

In tracking over 50 airfare hike attempts in the past 3 years I have never come across a hike like this one.

Both Delta/Northwest and Southwest initiated hikes separately last Thursday night of $10 roundtrip ($5 one-way) and it appears that everyone other than Continental has mostly matched the Southwest overlapping routes, but none of the legacy airlines are participating in the much broader Delta/Northwest hike.

The reason this is odd is that typically this would force Delta/Northwest to rollback their non Southwest route hikes by the end of the day Monday, with the hike essentially fizzling – however at this point they haven’t rolled back, essentially leaving them on an island for the moment.

In the midst of the hike there are some off-peak sale airfares in the marketplace from AirTran and Southwest that further obscure the airfare landscape.

The bottom line is that we’ll need another day of activity to get a clearer picture on the final disposition of this third airfare hike attempt.

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Published: July 20, 2009