Airlines attempt first fare hike of the new year
It did not take long for U.S. airlines to make their first attempt of raising airfare in 2012. Delta Airlines was the first to make the attempt, filing a $20 increase in fare on longer domestic flights. After Delta set the bar, Southwest/Air Tran and Frontier Airlines matched the price increase on January 11. American and United/Continental matched the increase the next day. The price increase was confirmed by a Delta representative calling the increase the first of its kind in domestic flights for the year 2012. The increase is in response to increasing fuel prices, which the airlines have blamed lose of profit.
Likewise, U.S. air carriers have also raised prices for European flights, but in response to a European law that forces airlines to pay a fee for aircraft emissions which took effect this month. According to the new law, airlines landing or taking off from Europe and their three neighboring nations must obtain a permit for their carbon emissions. The surcharge was initiated by Delta Airlines Inc. and quickly followed by United Continental Holdings, American Airlines, and US Airways Group. According to MSNBC Travel “American Airlines, United Continental Holdings, and US Airways said last week they matched a $3 surcharge each way unveiled by Delta on fares purchased in the United States for flights between the United States and Europe.” The move was an effort to balance the cost of the added fee for emissions. Last year, many of the top U.S. airlines tried to increase fares at multiple times throughout the year. Many of the attempts failed, as airlines received backlash for these attempts. When competing airlines don’t match the increase, the initiator is typically forced to back down and drop the added charges.