United Airlines Raises Prices As Much As $50

Get ready to pay more for air travel, United Airlines is raising prices. A lot. As much as $50 for some fares. Continental has already matched the increase.

It was the fourth week in a row that carriers have raised ticket prices, and the second round of increases led by Chicago-based United, the second-largest U.S. airline, in as many weeks, according to a tally by airline ticket pricing Web site FareCompare.com.

United’s higher fares went into effect late Thursday, hours after crude oil prices surged to a new record of $111 a barrel. The increase is unusual for its size. Most recent fare increases have been limited to about $10 round-trip.

“It’s like the jump in (oil prices) has totally changed the playing field,” FareCompare.com Chief Executive Rick Seaney said.

United spokesman Robin Urbanski said the higher fares are based on the length of the flight, meaning that trips of under 500 miles will cost travelers $4 to $10 more round-trip. Journeys of more than 1,500 miles are now $12 to $50 more expensive than before the increase, she added.

Atlanta and Seattle, Boston and Denver, and San Francisco and Philadelphia were among the thousands of city pairs that will now cost travelers $50 more round-trip on United, Seaney said.

“They obviously have some metrics that say, ‘these are our less competitive markets,'” he said.

The move comes just a week after United raised its domestic fuel surcharge by an additional $6 to $10 per round trip, effectively raising fares. United’s fuel surcharge now stands at $50 round-trip in markets where the airline does not compete against low-cost carriers, Urbanski said.

“Fuel is our highest expense. The cost of it clearly continues to rise,” Urbanski said. “We must be able to pass along these costs just like other businesses do.”

Hope you weren’t planning on going anywhere…

United Raises Fares by Up to $50


Edit Your Comment

  1. hejustlaughs says:

    So I’m guessing the value of the miles in your account just went up slightly?

    I’m waiting for them to de-value those miles again if oil prices keep going up.

  2. ribex says:

    This is also not long after United and US Air both instituted the $25 fee for a 2nd checked bag. Each way! $100 more per trip for many people is not good.

  3. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    25 bucks to check another bag, $50 more to fly.
    But the TSA will hassle me for free!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Continental has already matched the increase.” So much for competition.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love it that airline companies complain that the “government hasn’t done more to help them” but pushed so hard for government deregulation in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to the situation we are in now.

  6. Buran says:

    Welcome to America, where “people have less to spend on important things, so they can’t afford to buy expensive things” = “JACK UP THE PRICE!!!11OMGONEONEONE!!!”

  7. Orv says:

    At least they’re increasing fares instead of adding a hidden “fuel surcharge,” right?

  8. wallspray says:

    didn’t they JUST increase fuel surcharge $50? Wasn’t that to cover the price of gas?

  9. At these rates, I think I’m just gonna hire a really big strong guy to throw me across the country instead of flying conventially. It’s what I can afford. [I’m not a good swimmer, so I won’t try it for international travel just yet, in case my plan has flaws.]

  10. Bryan Price says:

    Yep. There is no inflation. We just keep ignoring the rising cost of fuel and food.

    fscking idiots.

    I can’t say that I’m shocked. Not when oil hits $110 a barrel this week. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about getting paid in Euros?

  11. chiieddy says:

    One of the local UPS stores proudly displays a sign encouraging you to save time & money and ship your luggage ahead.

  12. Crrusher says:

    driving is a good alternative, considering all the delays and hassles involved with flying these days, especially if you plan on going less than 1000 miles away

  13. ironchef says:

    @Bryan Price:

    US dollar=new peso.

  14. CurbRunner says:

    Are prices up on the seats out on the wings too?

  15. What’s worse is they’re starting to charge the aircrew to fly.

  16. Buran says:

    @BayStateDarren: Working for a car company doesn’t get you a free car, either.

  17. The Count of Monte Fisto says:

    The hell with operating costs, inflation, etc., everything should cost the same as it did in 1957!

    /toes Consumerist line

  18. n301dp says:

    @Bryan Price: United might be in a better situation if they hadn’t planned for $60-$70/barrel oil in their exit from bankruptcy, hence the reason for all of these wonderful, new revenue boosters.

  19. lemur says:

    @Buran: No, but working for a car dealership can get you a free car.

    Granted that freebies from the company you work for are not a God-given right. But they should be seen as one item of the benefits package. If your company used to give you something for free and now they don’t, then they have effectively reduced your benefits package. If you consider your benefits to be part of your total compensation then you’re working the same (or even more) for less. The result for us is: “Oh goody! Now I have to face pissed off employees each time I fly.”

  20. emjsea says:

    “as much as” $50 is hardly “a lot” considering how much fuel prices are going up. What is the matter with you people? You complain if the airlines get bailed out by congress because they don’t make a profit, then when they do something to make a profit and keep flying you complain about that. No matter what they do you complain if anything changes from the prices/options of 20 years ago. Grow up.

    If you don’t like it, don’t fly. You don’t have a “right” to be able to fly on private, commercial airliners.

  21. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @emjsea: I used to have ‘rights’ to not be harassed randomly as well (airports, receipt checking, “Real” ID, bad cops, etc. etc.).
    Your opinion on this I guess would also be to just suck it up?

  22. Paul_Blackstone says:

    @emjsea: Amen. You could post two completely opposite stories on the front page of Consumerist: X airline reports some profit; and Y airline raises fares to bring itself out of the red. On the first post you’ll have whining and crying about corporate greed and how corporations shouldn’t be making money because that is money they’re taking away from average Americans. On the second post you’ll have whining and crying about how companies (in an attempt to salvage jobs and service) are screwing average Americans out of their hard earned dollars. You could even throw in a third story on the front page: Z airline cuts service to some cities, and there will be whining and crying about how hard it is to get around anymore.

    I used to love reading this blog, but its amazing how unbelievably unrealistic the posts and comments have gotten recently. Although it would be nice if everything in life was perfect for everybody, we do live in reality, so the best option is simply adjust – it just doesn’t seem like some people are ready for that.

  23. Fly Girl says:

    You know, I wish that all airlines would just increase their fares and drop all of these B.S. “fuel surcharges.”

    I can’t think of any other industry that allows you to claim that the item costs X amount of dollars and then, when you’re ready to buy it, the price doubles because of hidden taxes and fees.

    I’m a travel agent and, just yesterday, I was booking a ticket to London on BA. The base fare was pretty swell– about $600. Good deal, right? (Coming from the West Coast in shoulder season, that’s a damn good deal.) Guess how much the ticket was after the taxes and fuel surcharges had been calculated?…


    Seriously. I get it. The cost of fuel has risen exponentially. Because of that, the cost of operating an airline has increased. So, reflect that increase in the actual FARES rather than in super secret consumer unfriendly unfair fees and surcharges.

    If I see a hotel room advertised for $89.00 per night, I expect to pay about $100.00 after all is said and done– not to get a bill at the end for $150.00 with things like “DUST RAG SURCHARGE,” “CLOROX BLEACH SURCHARGE,” and “VACUUM CLEANER SURCHARGE.” Things like laundry detergent, dust mops, and vacuums are just part of the normal operating costs and should be calculated into the cost of the room, not tacked on as seperate fees.

    Same thing for the airlines. Fuel is a pretty necessary element in the operation of an aircraft, and really, when you break it down, that’s what your fare is supposed to be covering: the cost of the use of an aircraft, the cost of the flight crew, and the cost of the fuel. That’s what you’re paying for in the BASE FARE of your ticket.

    Cost of planes, or flight crew, or GAS goes up? So do ticket prices. Someone should step in and force the airlines to get honest with it– no more surprise $150.00 each direction “fuel surcharges.” If that’s how much it costs, put that sh*t in the base fare.