Some airlines roll back $50 fuel surcharge

  • Updated: January 15, 2008 - 9:03 PM

American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines rolled back a $50 round-trip fuel surcharge in most U.S. markets to $20.

United reduced the charge Tuesday to its previous level "to keep our fares competitive," spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said. American, Delta and US Airways said they also moved back to the $20 charge.

United, the world's second-largest carrier, and other airlines are struggling with a 64 percent increase in the price of jet fuel in the past year. Fuel and labor are the largest expenses for airlines.

United, based in Chicago, more than doubled its fuel surcharge on Jan. 11, and other airlines initially followed.

Northwest Airlines spokesman Roman Blahoski said the carrier adopted the $50 increase Monday. The higher surcharge also remains in place at Continental Airlines, spokeswoman Julie King said.

Northwest probably will reduce the $50 charge, said Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, a Dallas-based website that tracks ticket prices.

Airlines generally drop fare changes not matched by others to remain competitive.

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