Fare increase or Surcharge

May 24th, 2010 | Posted in Blog

It depends on who you are asking as to whether the airlines that are adding anywhere from $10-30$ of “Peak Day” surcharges should be seen as a fare increase or just a surcharge.  For the airlines that will be doing this, it is clearly a surcharge.  For 73 days this summer ticket bought on American, United, Continental, USAirways and Delta will have a surcharge tacked on for “Peak Travel Days.”  The surcharges are based on one way tickets and you could potentially see a surcharge up to $240 for a family of four, says Farecompare.com. The question is:  Will passengers see this as a fare increase or surcharge?  It’s hard to say.  Though anyone will be hard pressed to find passengers that are excited about the added cost of the tickets, passengers will likely only discover the surcharges during the booking process.  The fares themselves will remain lower and the surcharge will be added after the user has clicked beyond what is essencially a teaser fare.  This does however depend on if there are surcharges and which booking engine the user is using at the time.

The question we at Elite would like to have answered is:  As a consumer, do you find this practice to be fair or would you rather know the real cost of the ticket up front?

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