Major airlines have installed the third significant fare increase in as many weeks, according to Rick Seaney, the CEO of Farecompare.com
Yesterday morning, Seaney reports, AirTran "increased airfares by $6 and $10 roundtrip (based on distance) across the bulk of their route system. Shortly thereafter ... American and Delta/Northwest matched on overlapping routes, while Continental took a further step matching on the bulk of their route system."
Last night, "United and US Airways matched across the bulk of their respective route systems. This increase marks what appears to be well on its way to the 6th successful hike of 2009, all since June."
He added, "Holiday travelers did get a bit of a break however today, as mixed in with the airfare increases several legacy carriers filed targeted off-peak “Holiday Airfares” (Turkey Fares), on the off-peak days around Thanksgiving and for Christmas and New Years Day. The widely matched deep discount 3-day off-peak winter sale started this past Tuesday by Southwest Airlines expires tonight, removing a big chunk of winter deals from the marketplace (for the moment).
"The volatility of airfare filings today simply underscores the continual tinkering that domestic airlines are doing as they hone in on price points reflect an uptick in demand but doesn’t scare off skittish travelers, and sounds another wakeup call for procrastinating holiday air travelers."