ATLANTA, June 27 (UPI) -- Delta Air Lines announced Friday it planned to begin imposing a surcharge of up to $50 for booking U.S. frequent-flier tickets under its awards program.
Delta, the latest U.S. airline to charge a fuel surcharge for previously free tickets, attributes the step to the soaring cost of jet fuel, The New York Times reported.
The new fee takes effect on tickets booked on or after Aug. 15.
Delta said it will charge a $25 fuel surcharge on tickets booked within the United States and $50 on tickets booked for travel elsewhere, including the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Latin America and other international destinations.
Jeff Robertson, managing director of Delta's SkyMiles program, said the increase in fuel costs was "causing considerable financial stress to Delta's business."
He called the surcharge "a difficult but essential decision in the face of record-high fuel costs" and said Delta officials hoped the fee would be temporary.
The International Air Transport Association says jet fuel prices have risen 83.6 percent in the last year.