updated 1/26/2010 10:34:16 AM ET 2010-01-26T15:34:16

Major U.S. airlines have dropped an effort to raise fares by up to $16 a roundtrip after some carriers resisted the increase.

American Airlines confirmed on Monday that it had dropped a price hike from last week. American spokesman Tim Smith said Delta had pulled the increase even before American did, and Continental and United also retreated.

"We can now declare the first domestic airfare hike of 2010 ... a failed attempt," said Rick Seaney, CEO of travel Web site Farecompare.com.

Air fare increases can be tricky. They can fall apart if one or two airlines refuse to go along or don't match on every route, because other carriers don't want to risk losing customers by charging more for the same trip.

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