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In a move unlikely to surprise many,
airlines around the globe raised fares this week... in an attempt
to keep pace with oil prices that surged over $100 per barrel on
the futures market.
The Associated Press reports many US domestic roundtrip fares
bumped up $10 to $20 late Thursday. United Airlines led the charge,
with Delta right behind. Air Canada hiked ticket prices two percent
between the US and Canada, with low-cost carriers AirTran and
Midwest also raising fuel surcharges.
Carriers said the increases are due to higher fuel costs... also
the culprit behind some two dozen attempted fare hikes in 2007
alone. "We all are facing ever increasing fuel costs and trying to
keep up," said AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver.
Worst of all, most believe this likely isn't the highest prices
"If oil stays at $100 a barrel, or if it creeps up even higher,
I don't see how this is going to stop," said FareCompare CEO Rick
Seaney. "Airlines are going to be scrapping to keep their heads
"We all are facing ever increasing fuel costs and trying to keep
up," said AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver.
Just because airlines increased fares across-the-board, doesn't
mean all passengers will be affected equally. Competition from
low-cost carriers may prevent the latest increase from "sticking"
in such markets as Orlando or Washington, DC... while travelers
flying from smaller airports, with less competition, may end up
paying the most.
Analyst Seaney advises passengers who want deals, had best buy
their tickets now.
"The bottom line for consumers is this: They'd better be
shopping earlier than they used to because there's not going to be
any last minute deals left," Seaney said. "The airlines know
exactly when travelers want to travel, and they're going to charge
a premium for that."