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Southwest, five others hike fares on short-haul flights

Reuters (via reports that many of the major domestic airlines raised fares yesterday in response to a fare-increase quietly launched by Southwest on December 29.

This is not the first time Southwest has raised prices while the rest of us were enjoying some quiet family time around the holidays. The airline previously hiked fares just after Thanksgiving. By my count, this last increase was Southwest’s sixth fare hike of 2006—not exactly the kind of track record you look for in a purported low-fare carrier.

According to the report, the airline increased the price of flights traveling fewer than 400 miles by $2 each way. Routes between 400 and 750 miles went up by $3 each way. The airlines matching all or part of the fare hike are United, Northwest, Delta, Continental, and American.

What a way to ring in the new year!

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