Most airfare fuel charges grounded

March 30, 2004 at 10:59 AM

ARLINGTON, Texas, March 29 (UPI) -- Most U.S. air carriers have dropped the latest fuel surcharge on domestic routes, reported Bestfares.com, a discount travel Web site.

Support for higher fares fell apart when Northwest Airlines declined to hike fares on all flights. Southwest and some discount carriers did not raise fares at all.

American Airlines and United Airlines canceled a $5 one-way fare surcharge, followed by America West and US Airways. Continental and Delta are still collecting fuel surcharges on domestic tickets.

Continental Airlines, the fifth largest carrier, raised ticket prices Friday to offset rising jet fuel costs, the fifth time the industry has attempted to impose a fuel surcharge on passengers this year.

"It's going to be very difficult to stick with this fuel surcharge when the nation's No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 airlines are not going along with it," said Bestfares.com CEO Tom Parsons.

"If this latest fare hike had been successful, passengers would have paid $70 more per round-trip than they were paying in summer 2002."

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