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Airlines Collectively Raised Fares This Week

U.S. carriers have implemented a slight domestic fare hike over the past few days. The hikes began with Delta Air Lines, which raised roundtrip domestic fares—short-, medium- and long-haul alike—by as much as $6 on Monday. Southwest Airlines matched that later the same day, and both American Airlines and United Airlines matched it on Tuesday. Alaska, Virgin America and JetBlue also matched the increase, according to a J.P. Morgan research note. The most recent matched fare hike was in June, although airlines have made at least five attempts since that competitors did not match. “Airlines are doing … what they’ve always done: probing consumers’ appetite for travel by determining their pain-point on price,” FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney wrote on his company’s blog. “The hike could still roll back; consumers will let the airlines know by accepting or rejecting the higher prices as they return to airfare shopping for spring break and business travel now that the holidays are past.” (Business Travel News).

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