The airline industry may be soaring again after all the turbulence of the pandemic, but travelers aren’t getting many breaks.
CNBC reports that staffing shortages, high fuel costs and flight cancellations are pushing ticket prices higher — and things won’t get much better any time soon.
“Holiday flights are going to be expensive once again,” Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, told the network. “The pricing power has shifted back to the airlines for winter holiday travel.”
Domestic airfares over Thanksgiving are averaging $274, up 19% from a year ago, according to fare tracker Hopper.
Domestic roundtrips over Christmas will run you $390, up 40% from last year.
Not that the airlines are suffering financially. American, United and Delta each reported record revenue for the most recent quarter.
While businesses have every right to pass along their costs to customers, let’s not forget that airlines received $54 billion in taxpayer assistance during the worst of the pandemic.
In that sense, it’s a fine how-do-you-do that they’re now sticking it to passengers as their fortunes recover.
Then again, it’s been a long time since this industry prided itself on its customer-friendliness.