Airfare Fuel Surcharge Hike Fails to Take Off

The latest attempt by airlines to raise fares has apparently failed on
domestic routes, says Tom Parsons, CEO and founder of Bestfares.com, a
discount travel Web site.
American Airlines rescinded its fuel charge first, followed by United Air
Lines. America West and US Airways followed this afternoon on domestic
tickets. Currently, the airlines have not elected to roll back their fuel
surcharges for Canadian destinations.

Continental and Delta are still collecting the fuel surcharges.
Continental kicked off the latest attempt to raise fares on Friday. It was
the fifth time in 90 days that an attempted hike has failed.

“It’s going to be very difficult to stick with this fuel surcharge when
the nation’s No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 airlines are not going along with it,”
says Parsons. “But we expect them to roll theirs back by tomorrow.

“It’s not all bad for the airlines, because the major carriers have
managed to pocket $60 worth of fare hikes since summer 2002.”

On July 25, 2002, Continental Airlines stopped charging a separate $40
surcharge on everyday leisure and business fares, but it added $40 to its
everyday base fares. The major airlines added another $20 in fuel
surcharges in February 2003.

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“If this latest fare hike had been successful, passengers would have paid
$70 more per roundtrip than they were paying in summer 2002,” says 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 NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early
Show, CNN, Fox and MSNBC.
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