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Airlines Fares Creeping Upward

April 3, 2006 By: Susan Young Travel Agent

Looks like the high fuel costs and leaner fleets of some airlines, coupled with strong consumer demand, are beginning to send air ticket pricing higher. Delta Air Lines said it would start adding airport fees to its ticket prices on connecting flights and match a separate fare increase by United Airlines. Delta's passengers will now pay $3 to $4.50 on each segment of a flight schedule that connects, and if they have a connection at two airports, the new charges will raise the overall ticket price by up to $9 each way. Competitor United cited higher fuel costs in raising business fares by $50 each way and coach fares by $2–$5 each way. Increasingly airlines cannot secure additional labor concession cuts, and are beginning to tap the well dry for internal expense cuts—while still offering a range of consumer services—so the best way to recoup losses is through higher fares. In the past, there was simply too much capacity in the market to do that, but now leaner airlines with fewer aircraft are able to begin to take a stand on low-ball pricing.

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