Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

U.S. Airlines Make Another Attempt to Raise Air Fares

Delta Air Lines and AMR's American Airlines said they raised domestic U.S. air fares $5 each way, again testing pricing power a week after a similar effort failed.

Delta , the No. 3 U.S. carrier, increased the price of walk-up and advance-purchase tickets on flights across the United States to offset cost pressure, especially on jet fuel, said spokeswoman Betsy Talton.

Tim Wagner, a spokesman for AMR's American, said the No. 1 U.S. carrier matched the increase.

Continental Airlines , the No. 4 U.S. carrier, also matched, according to Neil Bainton, chief operating officer at fare tracker FareCompare.com. Continental wasn't immediately available for comment.

Despite matching by some big-name carriers, the increase could still collapse if other carriers like US Airways Group and Northwest Airlines didn't join in.

A similar fare increase attempt, led by Continental, a week ago failed after rivals bailed out after initially matching.

Airlines, which are gearing up for the busy summer travel season, have sought to raise fares to offset higher costs of jet fuel, which vies with labor as an airline's largest expense. The price of jet fuel has risen about 17% over the last four months.

But softening demand amid a weakening U.S. economy has made it difficult for airlines to pass on these higher costs.

Five attempts to raise fares so far this year have largely been unsuccessful, falling apart under competitive pressure, especially from discount carriers like Southwest Airlines.

Fares typically rise in the run-up to the summer travel season; but prices this year have been flat and are now about 10% below where they were a year ago, said Neil Bainton, chief operating officer at fare tracker FareCompare.com.

Contact U.S. News


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    Please choose a subscription

    Please enter a valid email address
    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.

Don't Miss

  • The California property that once served as Michael Jackson's home and personal fantasyland is being listed at $100 million.

  • Lottery ticket

    A thief who broke into the car of a Seattle couple left behind a million-dollar lottery ticket, NBC News reports.

  • The Lamborghini SpA Urus SUV.

    There's no shortage of luxury vehicle choices, but increasingly the wealthy are opting for high-end SUVs instead of traditional models.

U.S. Video

  • Does US have a gross domestic problem?

    You need to cast a wider net when looking at these numbers, says Michael Gapen, Barclays U.S. economist, weighing in on the latest GDP revisions and provides insight to the economic landscape.

  • Q1 GDP (revised) down 0.7%

    CNBC's Rick Santelli breaks down the latest data on U.S. economic growth. And CNBC's Steve Liesman provides perspective.

  • Attack of the 'zom-bee' wasps... check it out!

    Scientists have discovered a "dementor" wasp that injects venom into cockroach prey rendering it unable to direct its own body and serves as live food for the wasp later on. Take a look, but it's not for the faint of heart.