Dust settles, airlines finish fare roll-backs

DALLAS (AP) ? After more jockeying, all major U.S. airlines rolled back fares to about the same prices they were charging before federal ticket taxes expired two weeks ago.

US Airways said it reduced fares late Monday, joining Southwest, AirTran, Delta, American, JetBlue, United, Continental and Frontier.

The airlines gave up fare increases of more than 7.5 percent that they had rushed to enact after federal excise taxes on tickets expired July 23. By raising prices to match the amount of the expired taxes, the airlines got more money but consumers paid the same total price for tickets.

The taxes were restored Monday morning after Congress temporarily settled a dispute over aviation legislation.

Travel experts had predicted that airlines would be forced to give up the fare hikes once the taxes were restored. They said travel demand is already slowing, and many consumers would balk at paying higher fares on top of taxes.