Airfare Increases Stay Low For Now
This might be the last thing you want to think about during
the May sweeps,
but if you have vacation plans for the summer that requires
air travel, I
advise you to run to your travel agent or online booking service
those tickets now. For the second time in less than a month
several of the
major air carriers tried to raise leisure fares only to be
rebuffed by a
competitor. But these low prices wont last.
American Airlines began the latest attempt at a fare increase
last week when
they tried to boost leisure fares by $10 each way on a discounted
an industry known for playing follow the leader, Continental,
Airways, and to a lesser extent America West all followed
But the increase didnt last long as Northwest Airlines
and United refused to
play the game. Their refusal forced the other carriers to
drop fares to
Earlier this month Continental tried boosting fares by $20
only to have
Northwest Airlines step in once again a refuse to play along.
Carriers will make several more attempts this year to hike
eventually some will stick. Load factors; thats the
number of people per
flight, have increased significantly since September 11. Strong
demand will eventually play right into the hands of the airlines
prices upwards, it just a matter of time.
One way to avoid higher ticket prices is to buy early. Sixty
to ninety days
out is a good benchmark for popular destinations.
There is a fine line between buying to early and buying too
airlines dont usually start closely monitoring the load
particular flights until about 90 days from departure. If
they look full the
price may increase. If they need to boost sales on a particular
fares will drop, so its a good idea to monitor those
prices and jump on a
good fare as soon as possible.
If you are flying to a destination that is not so popular,
you have the
option to wait until 45 days or less before departure to purchase
prices will more than likely come down.