US Airlines Abandon Fare Increase

January 25, 2010

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The first broad-based US airline fare increase of 2010 has been rolled back by several major carriers as they struggle to bolster fares amid depleted travel demand, a fare expert said on Monday.

The increase, which was from USD$6 to USD$16 round-trip, was initiated last week by American Airlines and later matched by rivals, including Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines, said Farecompare chief executive Rick Seaney.

The airline industry has been groping for pricing power after demand for business travel sagged during the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009.

Seaney said Delta was the first to retreat from the increase, followed by American, Continental and United Airlines.