Airlines Scale Back Latest Fare Increase

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Southwest's refusal to go along with ticket price hikes by other major U.S. airlines has prompted a scale-back by the other carriers on routes where they compete with Southwest.

JPMorgan Chase analyst Jamie Baker says Delta Air Lines dropped a $10 round-trip increase on about 60 percent of the routes where it hoped to boost prices.

The airlines have raised base prices and business fares several times in 2011 as they struggle with higher fuel costs. Spot prices for jet fuel have risen about 50 percent since September.

United and Continental started the latest $10 increase late last week. They were matched by Delta and American and partly by US Airways. Fare experts say low-fare carriers JetBlue and Virgin America also raised prices over the weekend.

Baker says Southwest usually prefers to raise prices over long weekends and might do so around Easter.

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