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United Continental Raises Fares, Others Follow

US airlines have been increasing fares on, what seems, a regular basis. They have hiked ticket prices 6 times already this year, and it seems they are imposing their 7th. This comes as United Continental Holdings decided to increase fares by $10 per round trip on Monday. The company includes the United Airlines and Continental Airlines brands.

It didn’t look as though the price hike would stick, as it took other carriers a little longer to follow suit than usual. However, they haven’t taken us by surprise after all, with the hikes being implemented later this week.

According to FareCompare.com, Delta Air Lines imposed a series of fare increases on Tuesday, ranging from $6 to $14 per round trip – the rise depends on how long the flight is. However, they pulled the rises as American Airlines moved to match the United Continental hike. By Thursday, Delta changed its mind again, joining US Airways in matching the $10 fare increase.

Major airlines have been increasing their ticket prices due to the rising cost of oil, which jumped to over $100 a barrel during the Libyan turmoil. The price fell to less than $100 after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, damaging its nuclear power plant in Fukushima Daiichi, which they are still trying to get under control.

Even budget carriers have had to increase their prices – most notable is Southwest Airlines. The airline is known for not imposing fuel surcharges and checked luggage fees, but it has had to raise fares due to the increasing cost of fuel. It’s likely that ticket prices will continue to rise in line with oil prices.

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