|by Michelle Baran||Warm Weather, Airfares & Flying||5|
This week started out with several airlines implementing domestic airfare hikes of between $6 and $10, FareCompare.com reported, marking the third such hike already this year and perhaps causing concern among travelers preparing to make their summer flight arrangements.
On Monday, Southwest Airlines implemented an increase of between $3 and $5 for a one-way flight, or between $6 and $10 for a round-trip fare, depending on the flight distance. Soon thereafter, Delta, Frontier, United, US Airways, Virgin American and American Airlines all followed suit.
Rick Seaney, FareCompare.com’s CEO, predicts that air prices could continue to inch up.
So what are summer travelers looking for the best airfare deals supposed to do?
Depending on when travelers are heading out the door, they should either book now or wait, according to the airfare comparison shopping site.
FareCompare.com recommends that for travel through early and mid-June, travelers should buy their airline tickets now.
For travel beginning in late June and beyond, travelers might benefit from holding off for a little bit before they book, the site advises.
"Most airlines have not begun releasing their cheapest seat inventories for travel from late June onward so - for the bulk of summer vacation travelers - it is still too early to ding your credit card. Those who do will find they will likely pay more than they have to," the site explains.
But taking a wait-and-see approach for transatlantic flights is probably not a great idea, according to airline industry analysts, who predict that the capacity crunch on flights to Europe makes the likelihood of any last-minute transatlantic air deals zero to none. In other words, if you want to travel abroad this summer, book sooner rather than later.
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