NEW YORK (AP) - United Airlines ratcheted up the pressure on
fliers ahead of the holiday weekend by raising most domestic fares.
The suburban Chicago-based airline raised fares by as much as
$60 roundtrip to offset the runaway cost of fuel. A spokeswoman for
the nation's second-largest airline also says it's "seriously
considering" following Fort Worth-based American Airlines in
charging passengers to check their first piece of luggage.
The ticket price increase took effect late yesterday. It'll
leave travelers paying $10 to $60 more, depending on how far they
fly and the competition on the route. The biggest increase affects
routes of 750 miles or more that low-cost carriers such as
Dallas-based Southwest Airlines don't serve. That's less than the
distance between New York and Chicago.
United has been among the most aggressive carriers in pushing
fares and fuel surcharges higher in recent months. Its increases
are often rapidly matched by competitors. Airlines are prohibited
from agreeing to simultaneously raise fares, but nothing prevents
them from following rivals' lead.
American became the first major domestic carrier on Wednesday to
say it would charge passengers $15 to check their first bag.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)