Airlines increasing fares
Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 6:02 pm
By S. MAYEROWITZ
AP Airlines Writer
Airlines have used surging oil prices to justify fare increases of up to $60 per ticket since the start of the year. But the rising cost of fuel isn’t the only reason it’s getting more difficult to find cheap fares.
The improving economy, a shrinking supply of seats and industry consolidation are also to blame.
“This is probably going to be the worst year we have seen in 10 years in terms of finding bargains,” says Tom Parsons of BestFares.com, a website for travel deals.
Even before turmoil in the Middle East drove oil prices higher, airfares were headed higher. The average cost of a round-trip ticket on a U.S. airline was $360 before taxes at the start of 2011, a 9 percent increase from the previous year.