United Airlines recently increased its fares on short-haul flights and now they are going to expand that to include long-haul flights, those that include a distance longer than 500 miles. On Friday, United copied the other major airlines as they matched a $10-per-round-trip price increase introduced by Southwest Airlines. Rick Seaney, CEO of air-travel website FareCompare.com, says United is testing the waters after the other airlines were so quick to price match Southwest's increase.
However, Southwest is hesitant about raising fares on longer flights. Paul Flaningan, a spokesperson for Southwest, says that at the present time they don't plan on matching on a system-wide basis. JetBlue and Delta have also said that they have not matched United's increase. A spokesperson for United, Christen David, said that the airline raised its long-haul fares to cover increased operating costs, which increased 4% compared to last year. Revenue only increased 1.3%.
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