Here Come the Airline Summer Peak Travel Surcharges
Domestic summer travel is beginning to look better and better. First we began learning about the unintended consequences of new tarmac regulations, where airlines intend to order planes back to their gates during thunderstorms to overcompensate for the government's three hour limit. That means more flights canceled more often, with the latest news being that Transportation officials are refusing to grant waivers at even the busiest airports. Now comes the announcement that not only will flights be less reliable, but they're also going to cost more.
FareCompare.com just wrapped up a broad study of summer airline prices. After crunching the numbers, they unpacked how the five legacy carriersAmerican, Delta, Continental, United and US Airwaysare slapping $10 - $30 surcharges on most flights operating this summer. You can expect to see the so-called "peak travel day" fees every day starting June 10, with the only exception being July 4th. That $10 - $30 number, incidentally, is per one-way flight.
Functionally these aren't so much fees as just higher fares. They're not hidden or anything: the cost of the ticket is just that much higher. The airlines just use surcharges as a book-keeping convenience, because it helps them target specific days. None of which matters when you're paying an extra $240 for a family of four.
As for the rest of the numbers, they're what you'd expect. Surcharges are lowest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and highest on Sundays. We'd suggest flying LCC's to avoid the entire headache, but with some domestic carriers embracing Ryanair-style nickle-and-diming, going low-cost is hardly a sure bet either.
[Photo: alex-s / Flickr]
· Airlines add $10-$30 fees for peak travel days in summer [USA Today]
· Sumemr Travel [Jaunted]
· Airline News [Jaunted]