Follow the leader
Southwest Airlines is the current leader in the game of airfare tug o' war. As FareCompare.com first noted, the Dallas-based carrier has initiated an increase of $5 each way on 400 of its routes.
As is customary in the industry, other airlines followed suit: United Airlines raised ticket prices of all domestic routes (except Hawaii), and American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Virgin America and US Airways have hiked fares in select markets.
Southwest — which won a high-profile fight to be able to fly internationally out of Hobby Airport — also successfully initiated a $10 round-trip fare increase on Aug. 17 of this year, plus others in March and February. United initiated two increases in late July, one of which was successful.
The airlines cite "higher fuel costs" and an "increasing cost of doing business" as the reason for the recent airfare hike.