United Air doubles fuel surcharge as oil rises

Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:26pm EST

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NEW YORK Dec 21 (Reuters) - UAL Corp UAUA.O said on Friday its United Airlines unit doubled its fuel surcharge on most domestic U.S. flights to $10 from $5, to counter a recent rise in oil prices.

The increase -- which adds $10 to a roundtrip ticket -- took effect late on Thursday, a spokesman for the U.S. No. 2 airline said.

In early November, United introduced the $5 each way fuel surcharge, incorporated into fares for travel within the continental United States, excluding Hawaii.

Airlines have been grappling with soaring fuel costs, which are related to the price of crude oil, with a series of fare hikes. The surcharge is another way for United to pass along that growing expense to customers.

Nymex crude oil futures CLc1 rose slightly to $92.25 on Friday, extending a three-week oil price surge.

Every dollar increase in the price of crude oil raises United's annual costs by about $65 million, the airline has said previously.

Shares of UAL fell 44 cents to $35.10 on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby)

((bill.rigby@reuters.com; +1 646 223 6122; Reuters Messaging: bill.rigby.reuters.com@reuters.net. editing by Gunna Dickson)) Keywords: UNITEDAIRLINES/SURCHARGE

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