Major airlines increase round-trip fares
American Airlines, Northwest Airlines Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. joined competitors in raising most U.S. round-trip fares as much as $20 as jet-fuel prices approach record levels.
AMR Corp.'s American adopted the higher fares, initiated by UAL Corp.'s United Airlines on Wednesday, in most markets, spokesman Tim Smith said yesterday. Spokesmen for US Airways and Northwest confirmed that those companies matched the prices. Six of the seven largest U.S. carriers have joined in the increase.
The airlines are charging travelers more as the price of fuel closes in on its 2005 peak.
Jet fuel for immediate delivery in New York harbor was $2.43 a gallon yesterday, and has climbed 37 percent this year, making it the largest expense for some carriers. In September 2005, the price reached $2.49.
Delta Air Lines Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc. raised their ticket prices Thursday.
The increase is $10 each way on flights of more than 1,500 miles, and $5 each way for others. It covers fares for leisure and business travel in the U.S., and includes some markets where the carriers compete directly with discount carriers like Southwest Airlines Co.
Dallas-based Southwest, the sixth-biggest U.S. airline, didn't match the increase.
American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, also raised most U.S. fares by $10 round trip on Oct. 22, and Southwest this week boosted prices by $20 round trip on some routes from its Dallas hub. Both moves were matched by competitors.