Flying fares

Richard Anderson, soon to be — maybe — the boss of whatever’s left of Northwest Airlines — says airline fares have to go up “pretty significantly.” He made his comments on CNBC on Thursday. (See video here)

How significantly? Pick a number. Anderson wouldn’t say specifically, partly because his questioners were more interested in how many flights get taken out of the airline (12-13% by the end of the year, Anderson said).

“We estimate that the industry revenue would have to go up 15-20%,” he said.

That’s on top of any recent increases. For example, here on News Cut we’ve been tracking a simple flight fare from Minneapolis to Chicago. As of today, that’ll run you $459.54. About three months ago, the same ticket went for $384.

Anderson, currently the boss of Delta, says the takeover of Northwest makes more sense now that the crude oil market has gone ballistic in the time since it was announced earlier this spring.

  • That’s why I only fly on frequent flier miles and vouchers.

  • Nick I.

    459 for a flight to Chicago? Was that even close to the cheapest? Both Northwest and Airtram have had some double-digit roundtrip airfares in the past.

    I’m currently digging around for a flight to LAX near the end of July, and with this increase going on, I’m probably going to make it a primary objective for the weekend.

    I still have fantastic thoughts of my roundtrip flight to Newark on Midwest four years ago– 186 dollars and cookies.

  • bsimon

    I see that they’re now talking about charging for bev service now too. $2 for a cup of coffee? I can somewhat understand that kind of charge for canned beverages, but for coffee?!?

  • Alison

    Well it’s about time airlines charge enough to cover expenses. Maybe this will delay the next airline bailout that we’ll get stuck with.

    And don’t forget the other benefit. Maybe fewer people will fly and quit using the most fuel inefficient and carbon polluting form of transportation.