Los Angeles International Airport

After years of record profits, airlines face turbulence in 2017. Could higher airfares follow?

After years of record profits, airlines face turbulence in 2017. Could higher airfares follow?

The U.S. airline industry has enjoyed three straight years of surging profits and has poured much of that windfall into buying shiny new planes, building swankier airport lounges for VIP customers and paying big dividends to investors.

At Los Angeles International Airport, some of that cash has been used on a renovated Alaska Airlines lounge with an automated pancake machine, an American Airlines lounge with a video-game-loaded kids room and a Delta lounge with a Starbucks espresso machine.

Although U.S. airlines are expected to remain profitable in the near future, industry watchers say 2017 could mark the end of the industry’s financial nirvana.

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