Airline Fares Continue Upward Climb

Most major airlines increased fares by $10 each way this week as fears over increasing oil prices have caused airlines to seek ways to recuperate diminishing profits the Associated Press reports.

Airlines have raised prices several times since December, saying they need to cover the rising cost of jet fuel. American Airlines parent AMR Corp. said Wednesday that due to high prices it expects to spend $1.2 billion more on fuel this year than last year. CEO Rick Seaney said the latest fare increase was virtually guaranteed to stick once Southwest and US Airways  matched it. The last three efforts by other airlines to raise prices faltered, in some cases because Southwest declined to go along.

A weak dollar, combined with strong demand and concerns over oil supplies in the Middle East where political turmoil has spread from country to country, has caused the price of oil to climb to the highest point in nearly three years.

With oil prices traditionally rising through the summer months when travel increases and demand is highest, it may be several months before consumers start seeing cheap airfare again.

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