Video: Holiday airfares higher than in 2005

updated 10/30/2006 1:50:02 PM ET 2006-10-30T18:50:02

Several U.S. airlines gave up on an attempt to raise fares by $6 per round trip after United Airlines, which had initiated the move, went back to its earlier rates over the weekend.

American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines all canceled the increase late Sunday, a day after United did so, travel industry expert Terry Trippler said Monday.

United had cited high fuel prices in instituting the increase Thursday on flights to some cities also served by lower-cost carriers.

United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based carrier rescinded it “to stay competitive with the low-cost carriers, who did not match the fare increase.”

US Airways and Southwest Airlines did not match the move, and Northwest’s increase was not disclosed until moments before United canceled its increase.

Airlines have raised fares many times in the past two years, partly to cover higher fuel costs. But such attempts generally fail to stick when not all competitors join in bumping up prices.

Trippler, a Minneapolis-based fare analyst for myvacationpassport.com, said he doesn’t expect to see fares drop due to lower fuel prices.

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