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Domestic Airline Ticket Fuel Surcharges are Back, Briefly

domestic airline ticket fuel surcharges

This is an update to last night’s post that revealed Delta Air Lines filed a $20 roundtrip fuel surcharge on tens of thousands of mostly smaller city-pairs.

However, Delta has now backed away from that; the carrier removed its surcharge filing – but not before both American and United matched this $20 surcharge.

By this morning though, United pulled out, leaving only American with the new surcharge.

What’s going on? You could say these new fuel surcharges are just another way of saying “airfare hike”. Face it, fuel prices – now at a little more than $80 per barrel – have not risen above airline estimates. So, the surcharge is yet another gambit to try to bring in extra revenue, much like those “peak travel” day surcharges are (and the successful bag fees).

The airlines haven’t had much luck with regular price hikes this year, so they’re trying whatever they can, to see what works – but so far, this latest attempt seems to be fizzling.

However, I do expect to see more price hike attempts, in a variety of guises, as the busy summer season approaches.

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