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UPDATE: Second Domestic Airfare Hike of the Year Initiated

June 25, 2009 | Posted in: Airfare News,Airline News,Forecast,United

UPDATE: More matching activity today by Delta/Northwest, Continental, and US Airways.

EARLIER: The first U.S. domestic system-wide airfare hike of the year was just two weeks ago, with all major legacy airlines participating – along with “low cost” Southwest Airlines.

Then, yesterday at 12:30pm EDT – we began tracking a significant change in American Airlines domestic airfare pricing: increases of $10 and $20 roundtrip on a significant number of U.S. routes. Historically airfare hikes have been initiated on Thursday evenings, but neither this hike attempt nor the one we had just two weeks ago is following the historical pattern.

Not surprisingly, matching activity began yesterday evening at 8:00pm EDT – when United began to significantly match this hike across the bulk of its domestic route system.

Oddly enough, yesterday was also the day United filed a small number of fire sale airfares to Hawaii, with flights ranging from $250 to $275 roundtrip to Honolulu from legacy competitor hubs including Dallas, Houston, Newark, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake. Normally these tickets would be about three times as much.

But for the most part, the frenzied pace of domestic airfare sales has dried up recently.

I have been cautioning consumers for the past month that they procrastinate on purchasing airline tickets at their own risk – and these two airfare price hikes in the past few weeks is the strongest signal I have seen that the bottom is either here – or very near.

10 Responses to “UPDATE: Second Domestic Airfare Hike of the Year Initiated”

  1. shmaya says:

    Rick,
    I must say that you were mistaken with your anti procrastination in my case. If you remember i tweeted you about Syd-Jfk for Aug, weather prices would drop further, your reply was to buy and I did… Well this week Delta dropped the price from $913 to $843 at one point.
    Nevertheless I still love you and will continue to seek your travel advice!

    Cheers

  2. Rick Seaney says:

    Hi shmaya, I want to be very clear that these hikes are U.S. domestic, not international, I expect international to continue to stay at historical bargain prices for the foreseeable future

  3. Kim says:

    I have been watching flights from Omaha, NE to Miami,FL for Aug 9-15. Did you see them dropping in the next month from the $360 RT? At one time they were $260.
    Thanks.

  4. Glenn says:

    I am watching flights form Omaha NE, to Orlando Nov. 28 to Dec. 5. When do you feel is best time to buy? Thanks

  5. Lil says:

    What do you predict prices to do from Dallas to Spokane,WA within the next few months? I go there regularly and have not seen a change lately…am looking at Sept. Thx

  6. Jarrett says:

    Rick,
    I have been watching flights to Hawaii out of Dallas all year. I had given up all hope to go when I received an email update on Wednesday for the “fire sale.” Thanks to your service my family of four, and the in-laws will be enjoying a week in Hawaii to see my brother-in-law. You offer an unbelievable service!!

  7. Rick Seaney says:

    Jarrett,
    Thanks for letting us know. Have a great trip!
    Rick

  8. Rick Seaney says:

    Lil and Glenn,
    If you’ve seen any of my recent blogs posts, like this one — http://rickseaney.com/2009/06/26/yes-you-really-do-save-you-money-with-twitter-email-alerts/ — you know I’m telling folks to buy now for summer domestic flights (you can wait a bit longer for international flights, but not TOO long).
    I wish I had a crystal ball to answer your specific questions. I don’t. But I have something almost as good: I suggest you follow FareCompare deals on Twitter for flight deals from your home airport, it’s real easy and you can get started right here: http://www.farecompare.com/twitter
    Another thing you can do is sign up for FareCompare’s real-time email alerts, and here’s how: http://www.farecompare.com/signup/
    Hope this helps!
    Rick

  9. Rick Seaney says:

    Lil,
    I would shop tomorrow (Wed) to take advantage of the Southwest sale and all the airlines that have followed its lead.
    Rick

  10. Rick Seaney says:

    Glenn,
    Shop now, sign up for our email alerts, never buy inside 14 days of departure, andshoot for high 200′s to low 300′s.
    Email alerts sign up is at this link: http://www.farecompare.com/signup/
    Rick

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