Airlines can’t always succeed in raising prices

Carriers in US succeed only if low-cost carrier backs them

Airlines are trying to push air fares higher as the summer travel season starts. But it’s not yet clear how successful they’ve been.

In the US, Delta has increased base prices on domestic flights by up to $10 per round trip. A spokesman refused to give a reason for the rise. Other airlines, including United Continental, American Airlines, US Airways and JetBlue, immediately matched Delta’s increase. However, Southwest Airlines, the world’s biggest low-cost carrier, did not.

Airlines often roll back price increases that are not matched by Southwest, which carries more passengers on domestic routes than other carriers. Of 12 previous attempts to raise fares in 2014, only four succeeded, and all four were supported by Southwest.


[image courtesy Bombardier]