United Airlines is expanding a recent fare increase from short flights to longer ones too.
On Tuesday, United added $10 per round trip to base fares for flights longer than 500 miles. On Friday, United and other big airlines had matched Southwest Airlines Co.'s increase of $10 per round trip on shorter flights.
"United appears to be probing other airlines' appetite after the swift matching of the limited scope increase by Southwest Friday," said Rick Seaney, CEO of air-travel website FareCompare.com.
Wall Street likes it when airlines raise prices. Airline stocks rallied Monday when it became apparent that the Southwest fare hike would stick, and several gained again in Tuesday afternoon trading.
Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. gained 12 cents to close Tuesday trading at $19.58; Delta Air Lines Inc. added 25 cents, or 206 percent, to end at $9.70; Southwest added 4 cents to $9.48; and Alaska Air Group Inc. rose 6 cents to $34.83.
US Airways Group Inc. was helped by a comment from the CEO of JetBlue Airways Corp., who said his company wasn't interested in a merger. The comment was seen as raising the chances for a merger of US Airways and American Airlines parent AMR Corp., a deal that US Airways has been pursuing for months.
JetBlue shares ended unchanged at $5.27.