8th Airfare Hike Attempt of 2012 has Failed

FINAL UPDATE 8-6-12: The latest airfare hike attempt has ended in failure; on Saturday (Aug. 4), United Airlines made it official by rescinding the hike with a rollback of ticket prices. As airfare analyst Rick Seaney observed, “Airlines have batted .500 this year on hikes with four of the eight attempts broadly sticking.” He added, “It would be unusual to see another hike attempt in the next few weeks as domestic carriers tend to take a breather for at least a couple weeks after failed attempts.”

UPDATE 11:30am ET, 8-3-12: The hike is now looking shaky; as airfare analyst Rick Seaney put it, “American and Delta have begun to bail.”

UPDATE: 9:20am ET, 8-2-12: As of Aug. 1, all legacy airlines – Delta, US Airways and American – began matching the United airfare hike attempt of up to $10. Note: The volume of route increases in this hike is about 66 percent compared with the last successful hike of July 20, suggesting that the legacy airlines are uncertain as to whether or not Southwest/AirTran and JetBlue will join in the latest hike.

UPDATE 11am ET, 8-1-12: According to airfare analyst Rick Seaney, the first matching activity is underway from Delta and US Airways, although “the volume per carrier is not quite as high as last time, yet.”

Listen as air travel analyst Rick Seaney explains what this means, in plain English:

Original post of 7-31-12:

From airfare analyst Rick Seaney: “Earlier this afternoon United Airlines hiked airfare prices by up to $10 round-trip across the bulk of its domestic route system.”

United Hike Attempt

This move by United is the second attempted domestic hike in as many weeks, and the eighth hike attempt of the year. The most recent prior hike attempt – which was a successful one, joined in by other airlines – was also launched by United, back on July 20.

Hike Pace Slower than Last Year

However, the pace of this year’s hike activity still lags behind that seen in 2011: by this time last year, there had already been 15 tries at hiking ticket prices. Ultimately, 2011 would see a total of 22 attempts overall, with nine of them deemed sucessful.

2012 Airfare Hike Successes

So far this year, airlines have scored four successful hikes out of eight attempts. As for this latest hike attempt, FareCompare will monitor the reactions of United’s legacy carrier competitors and that of the low-cost airlines to see which if any join in – to determine its ultimate success or failure.



Published: July 31, 2012