According to a recent article in the NY Times, "From New York, a round-trip American Airlines flight to Chicago [departing Nov 25 and returning Nov 29] that cost $354 on Sept. 14 was $540 on Thursday [Oct 15], a 52 percent jump, according to Yapta.com, which tracks fares."
Well today (Oct 21) that route is back down to $428 round-trip including taxes on JetBlue, still not exactly a bargain, but had you listened to the Times' advice that "Dilly-dallying, even waiting just a few days, could carry a steep price [since] fares, though still lower now than at this time last year, are rising each day," well, you just would have paid more than you needed to.
Another route cited by the Times, New York to Orlando, went up from $524 on Sept. 24 to $614 on Oct 15. That route, from JFK, as of 11 a.m. today, is available for $399 round-trip including tax on JetBlue nonstops. Again, not great, but much less than $614.
We have a feeling that consumers are going to look at these high fares and just say no thanks, and that the airlines, which are playing a game of chicken with flyers, will eventually give in and lower peak holiday fares.