Airline Ticket Prices Rising With Fuel Costs

Travelers will be paying more for airline tickets as the summer travel season approaches, after a spate of fare increases in recent days.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have increased ticket prices, spurred by rising fuel prices and some cooling of airline competition.

"If you're going to fly, you're going to be paying more," said Terry Trippler, an analyst with, an online travel company that monitors fares.

United's fare increase appeared to be the largest. The airline raised one-way prices as much as $50, depending on the route and the type of fare.

The biggest increases were on walk-up fares, typically purchased by business travelers.

Delta and American both raised fares by ending their practice of absorbing the cost of airport fees charged when passengers connect.

Those fees, which can total as much as $9 at some airports, will now be paid by passengers instead of the airlines.

At American, the change applies to passengers connecting through Miami, St. Louis and Chicago.

It will not affect passengers flowing through Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, spokesman Tim Wagner said.

Last year, Northwest Airlines tried twice to stop paying airport-connection fees but rescinded the policy when competitors did not match the change.

Airline analyst Jamie Baker of J.P. Morgan Securities said the policy change penalizes passengers who book connecting flights.

"The willingness of passengers to pay more for more time throughout coach strikes us as counterintuitive," Baker wrote in an investment report Friday. "American and Delta apparently disagree."

The rising fares are the latest in a series of price increases in recent months. Dallas-based low-fare carrier Southwest Airlines has also raised prices, citing the high cost of fuel.

Shares of AMR Corp., American's parent company, (ticker: AMR) rose 94 cents Friday to close at $27.05. Southwest shares (ticker: LUV) rose 18 cents to close at $17.99.

Fort Worth Star Telegram

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