It may not sound like much, but when discount airlines are leading the charge for higher prices, you're in trouble.
Post-summer, pre-holiday travel is typically inexpensive as demand wanes. But Southwest is making sure that won't happen this year.
In 2010, a round trip ticket from Dallas to Houston on Southwest Airlines was $99. Now, it's $190. Of course, that's still better than the $378 or so that American and United are charging.
Post-summer, pre-holiday travel is typically inexpensive as demand wanes. But Southwest is making sure that won't happen this year. Fares had appeared poised to remain steady until Thanksgiving, after United's attempt at raising prices by the same $4 to $10 margin failed last week.
Even with the hike, Southwest still has the cheapest seats in the country. When its prices go up, other domestic airlines feel justified raising their fares as well. The result is paying more to go the same distance.
This is the seventh time airlines have increased ticket prices in 2012. If it's any consolation, the New York Times reports that airfares are historically low right now.
The average round-trip domestic fare has fallen steadily since airlines were deregulated in 1978. In inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars, the average fare, while it has risen since 2010, is still about half what it was in 1979, according to Airlines for America, the airline industry trade group.
Don't you feel better already?