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U.S. Airlines Hike Fares

It looks like Friday the 13th is bringing a bit of bad luck for U.S. fliers. FareCompare.com reports that a handful of major U.S. airlines have rolled out a $20 round-trip increase in ticket prices for domestic routes—the first fare hike of 2012.

Delta, which boosted U.S. airfares by $20 on Wednesday, was the first carrier to initiate the surge in prices. And it didn't take long for other airlines to hop on board. As of this morning, Southwest, AirTran, Frontier, United, American, Continental, and US Airways have all followed suit. Continental, Southwest, and American confirmed the fare hike, but we have yet to hear back from the other airlines.

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According to Rick Seaney, founder of FareCompare.com, things could get worse. Says Seaney, "I expect domestic airlines to continue to try to hike prices every couple of weeks this first half of the year with limited success." The airlines attempted to raise ticket prices on 22 separate occasions in 2011, but were only successful nine times.

Why the big fare hike? U.S. carriers may be reacting to an increase in oil prices, reports Reuters. Oil prices went up on Thursday, and the airlines are most likely increasing fares to offset more expensive fuel costs.

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