Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Round of Fare Hikes? Advice: Buy Now, Fly Later

This from Rick Seaney, the CEO of

"Thursday, February 28, 2008 3:35pm CST

In today’s 12:30pm EST airfare distribution Delta Air Lines raised domestic airfares by $10 roundtrip on the bulk of its route system. Over 18,000 city pairs show this new $10 roundtrip airfare hike affecting both leisure and business travelers.

This domestic airfare increase attempt follows a similar $10 roundtrip hike last week initiated by United Airlines and marks the 6th attempted system-wide increase this year. Three of the previous five attempted increases in 2008 have been widely “successful” (sticky) except on selective routes dominated by lower cost airlines.

This trend in airfare hikes closely follows a similar pattern as 2007, where 23 attempted increases resulted in 17 successful airfare hikes. Airfare increases are being driven by the unprecedented run-up in fuel cost, firm demand for air travel and limited seat capacity. Last week I had predicted at least one more increase this quarter and would not be surprised to see another as well.

Airfare deals are going to be fewer and farther between in the coming years and travelers should brace themselves for higher prices – savvy travelers should be changing their shopping patterns by starting the purchasing process much earlier and being flexible on travel dates and times."


No comments: