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Delta rolls back fare increase

12:10 PM, Sep 3, 2013   |    comments
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Nancy Trejos
USA Today

UPDATE: Delta Airlines has failed at its attempt to raise fares.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said on Tuesday that the airline had rolled back its fare hike of $4 to $10 roundtrip, which it had instituted last week.

Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, which tracks fare increases, said that United Airlines had briefly matched the fare hike over the weekend but that both airlines decided to reverse course.

It was the 10th attempt to raise fares this year. Only two have been successful, both by Delta.

ORIGINAL STORY: Delta Air Lines is once again trying to raise fares.

Delta Spokesman Anthony Black said the airline has raised fares by $4 to $10 on most of its routes.

It marks the 10th attempt to boost prices this year. But only two have been successful so far, and both were initiated by Delta.

It's been four months since airlines were able to successfully raise fares.

Typically, an airline will raise fares with the hopes that other carriers will follow, particularly Southwest Airlines. If they don't, the increase doesn't stick.

"A hike attempt is considered to be a success by the airline if competing carriers join in by matching the higher prices," Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, which tracks fare increases, said in an email. "If this doesn't happen, the initiating carrier rolls back its prices."

ALSO ONLINE: United fails in attempt to raise fares
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Airlines have had better luck with fare hikes in previous years, he said.

Last year, there were 15 attempts to raise fares, and seven were successful.

In 2011, there were 22 attempts, and nine stuck.

Most recently, airlines have tried to raise fares on tickets typically purchased by business travelers within seven days of travel.

This latest hike is different, Seaney said. "The latest effort includes fares directed at leisure travelers," he said.

USA Today

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