United Airlines increased its fuel surcharge on domestic U.S. flights Friday by as much as $10 round-trip, a move quickly matched by Delta Air Lines Inc. as oil hit a new record again this week.
United, the No. 2 U.S. airline, said it increased its domestic U.S. fuel surcharge by $3 to $5 each way. Delta matched United's move, said Rick Seaney, chief executive of fare tracker FareCompare. Delta said earlier in the day that it had not yet raised fares again.
The increase, which marks the third attempted fare hike in as many weeks, brings the total fuel surcharge to as much as $50 round-trip, Seaney said.
"If oil prices continue this upward trend, there is nothing to stop a continued wave of increases every few weeks," he said.
United's increase applies to most U.S. markets, said Robin Urbanski, a spokeswoman for United parent UAL Corp.
Carriers are raising fares and surcharges as they grapple with a 62% jump in jet fuel prices.
Crude oil, which affects the price of jet fuel, notched a record high of $105.47 a barrel Thursday. It fell 32 cents to $105.15 on Friday.
AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. said they were studying United's fee increase. Continental Airlines Inc. said it hadn't adopted the higher charge. A Northwest Airlines Corp. spokesman didn't immediately comment.