Delta, United, US Airways Raise Domestic Airfares for the Fourth Time in 5 Weeks, Says Bestfares.com

ARLINGTON, Texas, April 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Leisure travelers who need to travel between two non-competitive cities have seen four fare hikes totaling as much as $60 more per roundtrip in the past five weeks, says Tom Parsons, CEO of Bestfares.com. The most recent hike came today as Delta and United raised their domestic fares by $10 per roundtrip. The move was matched by US Airways at midday.

The major airlines have been biting at the bits to get airfares up. Now with Northwest Airlines jumping on-board most fare hikes, it appears airfares could go sky-high, especially in non-competitive markets — markets with no low-cost airline competition.

“The sad part is that we’re seeing these airfare hikes stick only on non- competitive routes, where leisure travelers are already facing the highest airfares in America,” says Parsons. “Those fares can be double the cost of fares on similar routes served by Southwest, AirTran, JetBlue, America West and other low-cost carriers. These recent airfare hikes by the legacy carriers usually do not stick on their cheapest matched low-cost carrier airfares.”

Leisure travelers have seen several airfare hikes compared to last summer’s everyday airfares, notes Parsons.

As an example, the airfares from Dallas to Syracuse, which has no low-cost airline service, an everyday airfare on Sept. 10, 2004, was $308 roundtrip. Today, Delta and United, with these new $10 fare hikes, are demanding $428 roundtrip. That is a $120 increase, or an almost 39 percent airfare hike in less than seven months.

Dallas to Syracuse is 1,334 air miles. Providence to San Diego, however is nearly double the distance at 2,562 air miles. Because of the presence of low-cost competition from Southwest on the Providence-San Diego route, the major legacy carriers are charging only $198 roundtrip.

“For a trip half the distance, Dallas to Syracuse, to cost double the money of Providence to San Diego is huge. Something is wrong with that formula,” says Parsons.

As summer comes closer and as airfares continue to climb, leisure travelers should brace themselves for higher airfares, states Parsons.

“If they plan on flying this summer, many travelers will need to use a bigger checkbook when purchasing their tickets,” adds Parsons.

Bestfares.com’s Tom Parsons, one of the most sought-after travel industry experts in the United States, has been chasing down hidden travel bargains and bringing them to the traveling public for 20 years. Parsons regularly appears on Fox News Channel, NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN and MSNBC.

To schedule an interview with Parsons about airfare news, contact the Media Relations department at 800-576-8255, or by e-mail at media@bestfares.com .

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