Southwest Airlines is making a 180-degree turn and raising fares on many routes by up to $10 per round trip. The self-proclaimed low-fare airline declined to match a $10 increase by United Airlines earlier this week, helping force United to roll back prices.
But on Friday, Southwest raised fares $2 each way for trips under 501 miles, $3 each way for 501 to 1,000 miles, and $5 each way for longer trips.
Brad Hawkins, a spokesman for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co., says the reason is simple: The airline's costs are rising.
J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker says Southwest started by raising prices on a limited number of flights, then broadened the increase and included flights by its AirTran Airways subsidiary. He expects most other airlines will match it by Saturday.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.