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Newest fare increase stalled ... for now

Sometimes, keeping up with the airline industry reminds me of playing "Follow the Leader" on an elementary school playground.

Last week, Delta increased its fares by $5 to offset ever-increasing fuel prices. American, Continental, United, and US Airways, hoping this would stick, quickly followed suit. Southwest, however, abstained from this price hike—although the airline has already raised prices numerous times this year.

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Without Southwest in the fold, the other carriers quickly pulled back their increases. This is the second time in a month the airlines have failed to push through a fare increase.

Given the burgeoning cost of fuel and the high travel demand expected for this summer, I expect we'll hear of more attempts at a price hike in a week or two. (Just like on the playground, the airlines tend to play the same games over and over again.)

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