American and United have joined US Airways and Northwest in matching all or parts of a transatlantic fuel surcharge increase initiated by Delta, according to a story in Saturday’s Seattle Times.
The fuel surcharge now stands at $75 each way, up by $10 in each direction. Don’t adjust your screen, you read that correctly: The surcharge for a round-trip transatlantic flight now comes to $150 in addition to the usual base price and other miscellaneous taxes. No wonder an advertised $300 flight to London actually costs about twice that.
It’s interesting that the surcharge increase should start with Delta, which has shifted its focus onto those international routes as a potential avenue toward returning to profitability. The airlines do not face the low-cost competition on these routes, and there’s more incentive to pass those extra fuel costs on to you.