Third Airfare Hike of 2016 is a Success

UPDATE Feb. 19: It took a few days but Southwest has now joined the hike.

Feb. 16: Last week the third airfare hike of the year was launched [see chart] and according to airfare analyst and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney who detected the hiking activity, it has succeeded. Prices were raised $6 round-trip.

LISTEN: As usual, Rick spotted it first.

Latest Airfare Hike Succeeds

The latest hike is the mirror-image of an attempt earlier this month. Both were initiated by JetBlue, both gathered steam as other airlines joined in matching activity, but the second hike attempt of the year eventually fizzled while the third has stuck.

Third Airfare Hike of 2016

Here’s how the third airfare hike attempt of 2016 evolved. All times are eastern U.S.

  • Feb. 10, 8 p.m. – JetBlue launches a hike of $3 each-way
  • Feb. 11, 8 p.m. – Delta files 660,000 hiked fares
  • Feb. 12, 1 p.m. – United matches the hike, along with its code share partner Air Canada
  • Feb. 12, 8 p.m. – American Airlines matches the higher fares
  • Feb. 13, 5 p.m. – Westjet, another Canadian carrier, joins in the matching
  • Feb. 19 – Southwest joins in, belatedly

What It Means

As Rick Seaney has noted time and again, airlines are constantly probing prices to see what the market will bear which is another way of saying, to see what passengers are willing to pay. So far this year, the score for the airlines stands at two successful hikes, one failure. Watch for more attempts throughout the year.

Third Airfare Hike of 2016


Updated: February 19, 2016