Airlines make plenty of money. They want more.
That's the logic behind an industry forecast that sees higher ticket prices for 2017. Airlines are highly motivated to increase an industry metric that measures PRASM, the "passenger revenue per available seat mile" — or basically how much money they shake out of each customer's pockets while they fly from Point A to Point B. Though profits are solid, PRASM has decreased. Airlines don't like that.
According to industry journal Skift, a competitive marketplace means no airline would risk serious price jumps. That doesn't mean, though, that they won't look for less noticeable ways to juice their takings. They'll do so on popular travel days: Friday, Saturdays and holidays. And they won't add flights, increasing demand for the existing ones.
Industry experts also foresee an end to cheap last-minute fares. Now, if you procrastinate, you'll pay: "More expensive last-minute pricing should return," according to Skift. And — you'll definitely enjoy this — look for airlines to find new and exciting ways to bump up their revenue for those bags you want to check, like expansions of the obnoxious and unpopular (but $$$$) effort to charge even more for checked during peak travel times. (We can thank Spirit for that bright idea.)
Anyway, from one sucker to another, happy holidays.