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It Is That Time Of Year Again: Airlines Attempt To Raise Fares On Business Travelers

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Mar 01, 2013 12:35 PM EST

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With prices continuing to skyrocket across the board in the travel industry, airlines are once again asking business travelers to pay more for their last-minute trips.

"For the fifth time this year, airlines are trying to raise fares," says Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, which tracks fares. The previous three attempts focused on tickets purchased within seven days of travel, which are typically most popular among business travelers.

This time around, Delta (an airline notorious for their price hikes) is once again making the first move in the price-hiking game.. 

"On Thursday, Delta raised fares on business travelers by $4 to $10 roundtrip, and in some cases by $20 roundtrip in premium cabins, Seaney says. American Airlines matched the increase Thursday evening, and United followed Friday morning, Seaney told USA Today.

He added, "If legacy airlines are worried the sequester will stunt business travel demand, they aren't showing it," referring to the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that will take effect today if Congress and the White House don't reach a deal.

It is obvious that the airlines are using business travelers, who usually pay between $600 and $1,500 for last-minute tickets, according to USA Today, as the scapegoat, because of a concern that casual vacationers would be unwilling to pay the hefty price.

Delta isn't the only airline trying to increase prices, as Southwest Airlines raised some business travel fares and JetBlue bumped prices for their refundable walk-up tickets

"It is pretty clear that carriers are concerned about over cooking prices for domestic leisure travelers who would only be hit by increases on high demand days yielding into more expensive price points," Seaney says. High demand days include Spring Break and Saturday and Sunday departures, reported USA Today

The newspaper also pointed out that last year, airlines were able to raise fares seven times.

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