How Rising Fares and Airline Industry Changes Could Affect Your Next Trip

Two smaller American carriers that launched last year, Breeze and Avelo, are fine-tuning their operations….

Two smaller American carriers that launched last year, Breeze and Avelo, are fine-tuning their operations.

Avelo, which launched with point-to-point flights on the West Coast from Burbank, Calif., recently added a new East Coast base in New Haven, Conn., with several destinations in Florida and flying as far west as Chicago. In April, the flight calendar showed one-ways between New Haven and Tampa, Fla., from $69, with seats from $6, carry-ons for $40 and checked bags from $35.

Breeze recently added 10 new cities, reaching several in Florida and the Southeast from Hartford, Conn., while adding direct service to Las Vegas from cities that didn’t have it, including Charleston, S.C., and Syracuse, N.Y. One-way fares from Syracuse to Las Vegas in June recently started at $159 with extra charges for seats and carry-ons.

Another newcomer, Aha!, from ExpressJet Airlines, aims to make Reno, Nev., its hub, offering service to about 10 cities, including Palm Springs, Calif., and Spokane, Wash. It plans to add hotel accommodations to create vacation packages.

A recent search for a round-trip fare from Eugene, Ore., to Reno started at $109, with a minimum $10 charge for a seat each way and baggage charges starting at $30.

Low-cost carriers have long played with pricing. Now a more traditional carrier, Alaska Airlines, has introduced its own new approach with a subscription service called Flight Pass.

Aimed at travelers based in California, the pass starts at $49 a month and gives annual subscribers access to six round-trip flights a year that can be booked two weeks or more before departure. This brings the average cost of a round trip to about $100, which the company says is 20 to 30 percent off average fares on a yearly basis. For travelers who want more flexibility, Flight Pass Pro allows subscribers to book anytime from $199 a month, or roughly $400 per round trip.