US airlines add more days to peak travel surcharge

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The Independent Travel
(Relaxnews)

US airlines have recently expanded their controversial peak travel day fees on domestic tickets to include the most popular vacation dates across the entire calendar year.

In late September, American Airlines broke with tradition and became the first airline to explicitly charge a $10 (€7) premium each way for three days around Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

As expected, nearly every major US airlines has followed suit, but now the fees are being applied to nearly ever major travel holiday, according to the website FareCompare on October 9.  

Only US budget leaders Southwest and JetBlue have not added the surcharge and have stated they do not plan to follow suit.

The levy follows the introduction of various other new charges for checked luggage, seat choice, food and other services that were once included in the ticket price.

The good news is ticket prices for winter holiday fares are currently running 12 to 15 percent lower than last year due to lower oil prices and reduced demand, according to the website FareCompare.

Dates to Expect a Peak Travel Surchage

November 29 - November 30, 2009:  Weekend after Thanksgiving
December 19:  Saturday before Christmas
December 26 - December 27:  Weekend after Christmas
January 2 - January 3, 2010:  Weekend after New Year's Day
March 14, 2010:  Sunday before many student spring breaks
March 20 - March 21, 2010:  Weekend after many student spring breaks
March 28, 2010:  Palm Sunday, weekend before Easter
April 11, 2010:  Monday of Easter, weekend after Easter
May 28, 2010:  Friday before Memorial Day

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