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Entries in Rick Seaney (1)

Wednesday
Oct192011

Holiday Airfare Increase Takes Off; American Airlines Announces Losses

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Bad news for holiday fliers: it looks like airfares are set to take off.

According to FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seaney, as of noon Wednesday, Delta, United, American, US Airways, Jet Blue, Southwest and AirTran have all raised fares by $4 to $10 roundtrip.

Fare hikes in October and November are relatively rare, Seaney told ABC News in an email interview, but he says demand for air travel may be driving the increase.

“This is not very common, we have not seen domestic hike attempts in October or November since 2007 when oil prices were skyrocketing ahead of the recession in 2009,” said Seaney.

He added, “airlines tend to probe both consumers and other airlines’ appetites for higher ticket prices when they feel demand is relatively strong, demand seems to belying the daily sour economic headlines.”

Earlier this month in a blog posting on his website, FareCompare.com, Seaney noted that airfare for travel over the Thanksgiving holiday could be up as much as 20 percent in some cases compared with last year.

Not all fare increases stick. Seaney has tracked 17 attempts by airlines to raise fares this year, but only eight were successful.

The fee increases come as airlines are releasing their quarterly earnings.   American Airlines announced Wednesday it lost $162 million in the 3rd quarter.

Seaney says the takeaway for consumers is simple: don’t wait to buy your tickets.

“There are really no holiday deals,” he says. “You are going to pay a premium -- it is all about getting a better bad deal, which means you should not procrastinate.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio