Airlines Add Holiday Travel Surcharge

10.08.09 | FL News Team

If your holiday plans include flying, be prepared to dig deeper. "USA Today" reports several airlines are now charging a ten-dollar "peak-travel" surcharge per flight on 13 days near Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays. American, Delta, Northwest, United, Continental and US Airways are adding the extra charges for travel November 29-30, December 19, December 26-27, and January 2-3, as well as some days in the spring.

Defending the practice, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith says it's, quote, "very common to charge more for fares on peak demand days." He says tacking on a surcharge for a limited number of dates is "much less cumbersome" than filing an official fare change. Despite the hikes, ticket prices for Thanksgiving and Christmas are still 12 to 15-percent lower than last year because of decreased demand and cheaper jet fuel. Discount air carriers Southwest and JetBlue have not followed suit in adding the surcharges.