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US Airlines Raising Domestic Fares

June 1, 1999

Summertime air fares are heating up, with four large carriers raising their standard domestic leisure rates by 4 percent.

Continental Airlines Inc., which moved first to raise fares Friday, was joined Monday afternoon by American Airlines Inc., Northwest Airlines Corp. and U.S. Airways Inc.

Continental spokesman Ned Walker said the carrier’s price increase reflected strong demand.

``We continue to carry record loads in many of our markets,″ he said Monday.

Travel expert Tom Parsons predicted that Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Airlines Inc. would announce a 4 percent increase ``by the time travel agents open their doors″ today, followed by America West Airlines Inc. and Trans World Airlines Inc.

But Delta spokeswoman Kay Horner said today, ``We have taken no action.″ She declined comment on whether Delta will match the fare hikes later.

Representatives for American and United did not immediately return calls today from The Associated Press.

If airlines hold the line on the new fare increase, it would be the third this year for a total increase of 11 percent on domestic leisure fares.

Passengers traveling for pleasure typically buy the leisure-fare tickets, which come with restrictions such as advance purchase requirements.

Parsons, editor of Bestfares.com, said business fares have risen 3 percent so far this year and other increases could be planned.

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