Friday, April 25, 2008

The Morning News: A New Fare Hike, and Other Sad Tidings

—Encouraged, no doubt, by incessant media stories that accept at face value the proposition floated by airline executives that substantial fare hikes are necessary for survival, the unindicted co-conspirators major airlines are falling into lockstep on the latest round of fare increases.

Not that they’re colluding of course. That would be illegal, and we all know how sternly the current Justice Department looks upon shady corporate behavior.

Anyway, Rick Seaney of, sends an update this morning on the new round of fare hikes initiated yesterday by United Airlines. Last night, both American and Delta matched it, raising fares by 2 to 5 percent “across the bulk” of their routes, Rick says.

The new fare-hike will be the ninth successive fare increase (not counting increases in fuel surcharges) this year — once all of the competitors match it, as they probably will later today.

[Update 3 p.m.]: From Rick Seaney: "Continental Airlines matched the United initiated increase of 2% to 5% ($6 to $80 roundtrip) across the bulk of its route system. Additionally US Airways has matched across approximately 35% of its route system from 2% to 4%.

(Meanwhile), "American continued to firm up, matching in markets it left out last night ... Frontier partially matched on some of their routes ... Northwest has some minor increase-matching (less than 10% of their routes). ... This leaves Northwest, who has typically been one of the last to match in past increases attempts -- along with a major portion of the US Airways route system – yet to match."


—The latest mass hysteria: Food Hoarding by People Who Have No Conceivable Reason to Stockpile Food, Encouraged by the Media. And I was planning to go to Costco today. No way now. I’ll gnaw on that old celery rather than have agita facing that marauding horde.


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