Photo: Flickr / Konabish
Just a few days after JetBlue Airways jacked up most of its roundtrip airfares by $10, others have been tripping over themselves to follow suit.Southwest Airlines announced its own $10 fare hike on Wednesday and American Airlines jumped on board just hours later, USA Today’s Nancy Trejos reports.
Southwest is typically revered for its comparably low fares and the fact that it’s one of the only carriers that doesn’t charge fees for checked bags. Earlier this year, it was one of many airlines that refused to raise airfares.
The company finally buckled this time around due to rising costs of jet fuel, a spokesperson told USA Today.
But it’s worth noting that last month’s new airline fee disclosure guidelines probably played some part in spurring this week’s fare hikes.
Spirit Air has been the most outspoken in protesting the new rules, which require airlines to disclose all additional fees with their airfare listings and allow passengers to cancel flights within 24 hours of booking. In response, Spirit introduced a $2 “unintended consequences” fee earlier this month, arguing that it would help cover the cost of compliance.
According to Trejos, airlines tried more than 20 times to raise fees last year but only nine attempts succeeded.
Looks like passengers had better get used to it.
“They will continue to try to raise prices,” Rick Seaney, co-founder of FareCompare.com, told Trejos. “(But) by doing so, they are testing the appetites of both consumers and their peers. If either of these groups don’t like the fare … they will be forced to roll back.”