US fare hikes to usher in the New Year
United Airlines initiated a fare increase on Wednesday 30-Dec-2009, according to FareCompare.com. The increase, matched on New Year’s Eve by other network airlines, comes as oil prices have spiraled again above USD80 per barrel. United hiked fares between USD6 and USD10 covering over 15,000 city-pairs – the bulk of its domestic network. On New Year’s Eve, the remaining network airlines began to match, including American, Delta/Northwest, US Airways, Continental and Alaska. Exempt were a variety of fare sales for travel through to early Mar-2010, as well as routes that compete with LCCs which have spurned the hike. FareCompare.com noted that the eleventh-hour hike was the fourth successful increase since mid-2009. The industry increased fares 15 times in 2008 and 17 times in 2007.