Airlines Hike Up Fares Yet Again, Blaming Higher Fuel Costs

Airlines aren’t just good at lifting planes into the air, but with yet another hike on round-trip fares, they’re showing how great they are at sending prices skyward as well. Zing! This latest increase is the third already this year.

United and Continental kicked off the fare increase by raising prices of round-trip tickets $4 to $10, which spurred Virgin America, Delta Air Lines, US Airways and American Airlines to match their move, says the L.A. Times. JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines haven’t followed along as of yet.

This would’ve been the fourth price nudge, except that a previous fare hike initiated by Delta in January wasn’t accepted by the other airlines. That increase was rescinded.

Those in the know in the industry aren’t shocked, as it costs a pretty penny to run an airline and it just keeps getting more expensive. Even though U.S. airlines have cut down on fuel consumption, with the use of more fuel-efficient jets, prices for the fuel they are using skyrocketed by 40% between 2005 and 2011.

Three increases just two months into 2012 should make for an interesting rest of the year, eh?

Airlines raise fares again, point to higher fuel costs [L.A. Times]