Sunday, March 16, 2008
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways yesterday all matched round-trip fare increases of as much as $50 by United Airlines and Continental Airlines.
United and Continental's boost was the fourth in a month by U.S. carriers to help cover soaring fuel costs. Jet-fuel prices reached a record $3.47 a gallon Friday and have increased 86 percent in the past year, becoming the biggest expense at many airlines.
Most recent fare increases have been limited to about $10 per round trip.
United began the increase, and Continental joined Friday.
Northwest Airlines has yet to raise round-trip fares to match the other carriers, according to FareCompare.com.
As the price of oil has risen, airlines have tried to pass more of their fuel costs to consumers. Some of those increases have stuck, but competition from such low-cost airlines as Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways meant that many others were rescinded after competing airlines failed to follow suit.