DALLAS — Get ready to spend more on travel. Airlines are raising ticket prices again after a long lull that coincided with falling fuel costs.
Over the weekend several big airlines matched United Airlines’ increase in base fares of up to $10 per round trip within the U.S.
Fare watchers said it was virtually certain that the new prices would stick, resulting in the fourth fare increase this year and the first since late March.
United raised fares Friday by $4 to $10 per round trip, depending on flight length. Over the weekend Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways and JetBlue all matched that.
So did Southwest Airlines and its AirTran subsidiary on flights of at least 500 miles.
Southwest carries more passengers within the U.S. than anyone and is seen as a price-setter on many routes.
Airlines for America, a trade group of the biggest U.S. carriers, said average fares would be 50 percent higher if they had kept pace with inflation since 1979. Since 2000, the group said, airfares including fees have increased 15 percent compared to increases of 65 to 135 percent for major league baseball games, eggs, gasoline and college tuition.