Monday, May 02, 2005

Airlines announce price hikes

After American Airlines again raised fares late Thursday, Northwest Airlines Corp., Delta Air Lines Inc., and Continental Airlines Inc. said they, too, would raise fares in most U.S. cities.

American blamed fuel prices for fare increases of $5 one-way and $10 round-trip on most domestic and U.S.-Canada flights. It was the latest among several fare hikes by U.S. airlines in recent months. Some stuck when competitors matched them; others were abandoned.

Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said the airline matched American except in markets where they offer fares to compete with Southwest Airlines Co. and JetBlue Airways Corp. Northwest also didn't raise its higher-priced walk-up business fares, he said.

Continental and Delta acknowledged matching the increases Friday afternoon.

This is at least the fifth fare increase since February, said Tom Parsons, who runs discount travel Web site He said that in recent years, it's often been Northwest that acted as a spoiler, refusing to go along with increases by others



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