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United airfare hike holds steady

United Airlines' $10 to $60 round-trip fare increase held "steady" through the weekend, although carriers lowered some fares on routes where they compete against discounters, a fare watcher said.

United's increase was matched by American, Delta, Northwest, Continental and US Airways by Saturday, apparently becoming the industry's 12th successful fare increase in 16 attempts this year, Rick Seaney of farecompare.com said Monday.

American and Continental dropped prices by $30 per round trip on selected routes — American on a "few thousand city pairs" — where they compete with Southwest or JetBlue, Seaney said.

"Typically, of most airfare hikes this year, the [six major] airlines have been very cautious about increasing on those routes with heavy competition," Seaney said. "Additionally, airlines continue to discount — most for travel on off-peak travel days, firing out short duration sales, which are almost always matched by competitors."

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