Airlines add surcharge to holiday tickets

By Bloomberg News
September 26, 2009

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ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines Inc., AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, and UAL Corp.’s United Airlines - the three largest US carriers - added a $10 surcharge to fares on the weekends after the US Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays.

The fees apply to a “vast majority’’ of tickets for Nov. 29 and Jan. 2 and 3, Graeme Wallace of the travel research firm said yesterday in an e-mail. They aren’t retroactive, according to American, which moved first to impose the fees. US Airways Group Inc. also matched the surcharge.

“Passengers already pay more to fly on certain days,’’ Wallace said, adding that airlines “have now upped the ante by determining that certain peak travel days are worth an additional passenger-paid premium.’’

The surcharge differs from fees imposed for services such as checking bags, because it isn’t optional, said Jay Sorensen, president of consultant IdeaWorks and a former airline marketing executive.