FareCompare.com guru Rick Seaney played the bearer of bad news for consumer travelers on Wednesday, pointing out that American Airlines has upped its fares between $6 and $10 and its competitors matched it.
"Domestic airlines have struggled to raise base airfare prices this year as numerous tries have crumbled due to lack of unanimous participation - regardless of the gradually improving economy, airlines continue to live by recessionary domestic pricing motto of not being $1 more or less than their competitor," wrote Seaney in an e-mail.
The domestic airfare hike that American initiated on Monday was $5 one-way for flights over 500 miles and $3 one-way for shorter flights across most of its route system.
This may be the first of many fare hikes as fuel costs continue to rise for the airlines, Seaney said.
"With oil prices hovering near 2010 highs of $90/barrel and airline executives recent positive statements regarding winter demand it is likely we will see more domestic hike attempts as we head into 2011," Seaney said.