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Travel Tip: Airline Fare Hikes Explained

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Ever heard of an airline fare hike? It’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds.

Every so often a carrier tries to raise prices by a certain amount. Most recently, Delta raised its fares by $4 to $10 on round-trip flights, across most of its domestic routes. American, US Airways and United matched it. But Southwest and JetBlue didn’t. And so the legacy carriers were forced to roll back prices to stay competitive.

The website FareCompare tracks all this data, and found there were 12 attempts to raise fares this year. But only three of those actually stuck.

Now, airfares are constantly fluctuating, even throughout the day. But airfare hikes are actually the airlines testing the waters to see if travelers will pay more.

Your job is to stay vigilant. Start looking at airfares early, so you can track their fluctuations. Look for news reports on fare hikes, and if it doesn’t stick, know that the airlines will drop prices…but it doesn’t happen all at once. And remember, a fare hike will only stick if the airlines think that passengers are willing to pay, so this is your chance to vote with your wallet!

For more information, visit the airline archives.

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