U.S. Airlines Boost Domestic Fares by Up to $60

NEW YORK -- The three biggest U.S. airlines are raising prices by up to $60 for domestic roundtrip tickets to offset the runaway cost of fuel.

United Airlines led the bigger round of increases late Thursday, lifting roundtrip ticket prices by $10 to $60, depending on how far passengers fly and the competition on the route. Travelers will pay the biggest increase on routes of 1,200 kilometers or more -- less than the distance from New York to Chicago -- that low-cost carriers such as Southwest Airlines do not serve.

"It's part of all the work that we're doing to try to offset fuel costs," spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said.

American Airlines, the biggest U.S. carrier, said it matched the increase Friday.

Delta Air Lines also matched the increase, according to airfare research site FareCompare.com. The Atlanta-based carrier did not respond to multiple calls seeking comment.

Separately, AirTran raised leisure ticket prices by $30 and business-class fares by $50 roundtrip. Such a large change is unusual for a budget carrier.

The increases came just days after American said it would begin charging customers $15 to check a single piece of luggage. Representatives from a number of other carriers, many of which are already charging $25 for a second checked bag, have not ruled out following suit.