"They're trying to force them out of the market and they have the power to do this because they are making record profits," says George Hobica, founder of travel deal site AirfareWatchdog.com.
TRAVEL: Airfare deals pop up as airlines wage limited fare wars →
"The airlines are profitable, and they've reached the limits of what consumers can afford, so they've dialed back on fare increases," he said.
US says average airfares rising slowly; $381 in 4Q →
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