Airlines Informative - Happy holidays. Here's your fee.

Review by trp2hevn on 2009-10-07
I heard about this on the news this morning.

Airlines Add $10 Surcharge Over Holidays
Fare To Be Added Around Thanksgiving, New Year's Holidays

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several big airlines this week have added $10 surcharges for most of their tickets for travel on three busy days around Thanksgiving and New Year's holidays.

American and United airlines added the charge for most of their fares for travel on Nov. 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, as well as Jan. 2 and 3. On Friday US Airways Group Inc. matched the surcharge, and FareCompare.com said Delta Air Lines Inc. added it, too.

Spokespersons for Southwest Airlines Co. and Continental Airlines Inc. both said they had not added the surcharge.

Rick Seaney of FareCompare.com noted that the Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, and that the two dates in January are heavily traveled as well.

He said the airlines probably added the charge rather than raise base fares because it was a quick, targeted way to charge more on busy travel days.

"The bottom line this year for consumers is that it's pretty clear that if you procrastinate on your holiday travel, you're going to get stung," he said.

He said holiday fares are still running 15 percent to 20 percent lower than last year, with prices to bigger cities carrying the bigger discount from a year ago.

American added the charge on Wednesday and United matched on Thursday.
Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-10-07
Posted by yoke on 2009-10-07:
How are the airlines getting away with it? If the oil companies said they were raising the price of gas .10 a gallon over the holiday congress would be looking into it. The airlines will use any excuse to screw the passenger.
Posted by Pepper on 2009-10-07:
i figure it's to compensate for the crush of passengers they'll be having. i know normally you'd think that means they'd lower prices

now i'm not saying this is right or wrong, but what they're probably thinking- on the business side of things,

1) they know you'll be more apt to buy tickets during that period
2) most people can afford another $10. if they can't, then it's likely that taking a flight might not be the best thing to do financially anyway.
3) because of the extra crush they need extra workers (more flights, more pilots, more attendants, more baggage handlers) so it is possible that the extra costs of that can reduce profits.

then again i don't personally care myself... i'm close enough to drive home to see my family.

and if by chance i wasn't home for christmas? um ok. not like i've never done that before. (former military, so i've been away during a lot of holidays)
Posted by Pepper on 2009-10-07:
tho to be honest i don't think congress would notice if gas went up 10 cents over the holidays.

or rather, i don't think they'd do anything about it.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-10-07:
Airfare always costs more around the holidays because of supply and demand. They are just being more upfront about it this year. If you are not willing to pay $10 to fly the Sunday after Thanksgiving when everyone else wants to fly, then you can fly on Saturday or Monday... Even those dates probably will cost a lot more than if you took the trip two weeks earlier.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-07:
Airlines can charge whatever they want for their service. If someone has a problem with this surcharge they simply don't have to fly anywhere.
Posted by Pepper on 2009-10-07:
true true
flying isn't a guaranteed right
Posted by goduke on 2009-10-07:
When gas went up to $4 a gallon, Congress held hearings and you know what they did about it? Absolutely nothing. Zero. Nada. Zip. The only wanted to give the appearance that they were worried about it.

On the other hand, yet another reason to continue to fly SWA.
Posted by Ben There on 2009-10-07:
Even Southwest is charging a whole lot more for the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I just looked at New Orleans to Dallas on November 29, and the cheapest fare possible on that particular Sunday is $140 and it is not even available. Fares are starting at $71-77 every other day - you can tab between them. Instead of a $10 surcharge they have just doubled the fare.

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