Photo: Flickr / Magnus Bråth
Though major airlines like United and Continental raised their roundtrip ticket prices by $4 to $10 just last week, they’re already scaling them back to stay competitive with discount carriers, reports the AP’s David Koenig.The airlines cut the charges over the weekend when Southwest, Jet Blue and others refused to follow suit.
But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a show of generosity on airlines’ part, experts warn.
As the airline industry looks to counter fuel costs and stay in the black, they predict consumers will see jacked-up fares crop up later on in the year.
According to an Airlines for America report cited by the L.A. Times’ Hugo Martin, airlines jacked up their prices by 40 per cent price between 2005 and 2011 for precisely this reason. Last year, they spent a whopping $50.5 billion on fuel.
Of course, ticket prices aren’t the only way airlines try to boost their bottom line. In 2010, airlines hiked fees by 87 per cent on things like checked bags, seating assignments and on-board services.