Entries in Price Hikes (5)


Airlines Raise Fares: Four Ways to Beat Higher Prices

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Airlines raised fares last week for the third time this year.

The price hike, $4 to $10 on most round-trip flights, was led by United and quickly matched by many other carriers.  The lower fare hike applies to shorter routes, the higher to longer routes.

While not every fare hike sticks -- airlines tried to raise fares 22 times last year and succeeded only nine times -- there’s not much that can be done to keep airlines from trying.  They raise fares because they’re secure in their belief that people will still fly despite fare hikes.  But when faced with a plethora of unsold seats, airlines drop prices.

In the meantime, people still need to take their business trips, vacations and visit family and friends.  So, here are four strategies you can use to get the best possible airfare:

1. It’s not so much when you book as when you fly.

For as long as there have been travel experts sharing travel tips, you’ve heard that booking early is the key to getting a great deal.  A  recent study found the best time to buy is six weeks in advance.  And while booking as soon as you know your plans is important, how far in advance you book may not be as important as when you fly.  Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays tend to be the least-traveled days of the week and are therefore the cheapest days to book.  Even incorporating just one of these days into your flight plans brings down the cost of the trip.

2. Nearby airports are your friend.

Sometimes referred to as “alternate airports,” they are a reasonable drive from your preferred airport.  Now, reasonable means different things to different people, so know exactly how far the alternate airport is from your destination and the costs associated with getting there (gas for rental car, charter bus, public transportation, etc.).

3. Connections are almost always cheaper.

No one wants to hear it, but connecting flights are often far cheaper than direct flights.  Why?  Because they’re less desirable.  But proceed with caution here -- unless the money saved is significant, it may not be worth your while.  Every flight you add to your itinerary increases the odds of something going wrong -- delays, lost bags, etc.

4. Early-morning flights are often less expensive.

Again, this has to do with the desirability of the flight.  If it leaves at 6 a.m., you have to be there by 5 a.m. at the latest.  Say you’re a 45-minute drive from the airport, you need to leave home by 4 a.m. if you need time to park.  That means you’re up at 3:30 if it’s just you and far earlier if you have kids to get ready.  So a 6 a.m. flight very quickly becomes a 3 a.m. wake-up call.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Average Cost of New Car Rises to over $28K, Report Finds

Comstock/Thinkstock(WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.) -- Consumers are now forking over more dough than ever to buy a car, an indication that the auto industry is steering back onto the road after swerving off four years ago.

J.D. Power and Associates' 2012 annual automotive industry outlook reports that it now costs on average $28,341 to buy a new car -- an 11 percent jump from 2008.

The increase in price is partly attributed to in-vehicle entertainment features that now come standard in many models.

Another reason consumers are digging deeper in their pockets than in the recent past is due to cash rebates and other incentives falling by $400 from years ago.

Naturally, the huge profits automakers are enjoying after languishing for years come with a caveat from National Automobile Dealers Association executive John Humphrey, who says, "We see increasing optimism but the auto maker discipline in production must remain."

J.D. Power also warns that the industry must be wary of consumers with dicey credit histories being given loans they can't afford.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Starbucks to Hike Prices in the Northeast, Sunbelt

Starbucks Corporation(SEATTLE) -- If your a fan of Starbucks coffee, get ready to dig deeper into your pockets because the price of their java is going up in certain regions.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is hiking up prices at Northeast stores and locations in the Sunbelt, although California and Florida are spared for now.

Starbucks says the costs of "coffee, fuel and other commodities" are rising so they have to pass the increases onto their customers.

According to the company, some items will increase by an average of 1 percent.  Tall brewed coffees in New York City, for example, will cost 10 cents more.  Other items, like grande brewed coffees, will not go up in price.

These latest prices increases follow ones that already affected Starbucks stores last November in the Pacific Northwest, California, the Midwest and Hawaii.

Economists believe these changes could hurt Starbucks, which has been on the rebound over the past year after the recession changed the coffee drinking habits of consumers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Netflix Loses 800,000 Subscribers over Price, Rental Changes

PRNewsFoto/Netflix, Inc.(LOS GATOS, Calif.) -- Netflix is paying for its recent missteps and loss of goodwill.

The Internet movie rental provider announced Monday that the number of its subscribers dropped to 23.79 million last quarter -- a plunge of 800,000 from the 24.59 million users in the second quarter.

The subscription drop came as Netflix announced it was raising its prices by as much as 60 percent and dividing its DVD-by-mail and online streaming services, causing an outcry among users, who cancelled their memberships in protest.  The company has since nixed its plan to separate its rental businesses.

Monday's third quarter report also rocked the company on Wall Street, sending its shares down 27 percent as trading wrapped up for the day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cable Providers to Hike Prices as Early as February

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- TV viewers may have to pay a little more to watch their favorite shows, as cable providers across the U.S. begin to raise prices.

DirecTV customers will see a price hike of around four percent starting Feb. 10.  For customers that are a part of an introductory plan, monthly plans will remain the same, but old customers will be shelling out more money for the cable provider's various plans.  The lowest package will jump from $39.99 to $44.99.

Moreover, Time Warner customers are expected to see a seven percent increase and Cablevision will raise rates to around three percent, according to the

DISH Network prices will also hit a high with some customers paying 12 percent more beginning in February.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio