Aviation Airlines raise fares a bit By Robert Silk / January 08, 2016 Share 1 Photo Credit: Shutterstock -- Major U.S. airlines implemented a modest fare hike early this week. The increase of $3 per one-way ticket is the first successful hike for U.S. carriers since last June, according to the website Seeking Alpha.The hike was launched by Delta on Monday afternoon. Southwest matched the increase later that day. By Tuesday morning, United and American had also matched the increase, according to FareCompare.com.“I was a little surprised at the timing of the hike, given recent economic indicators but what the airlines are doing is what they’ve always done: probing consumers’ appetite for travel by determining their pain point on price,” FareCompare’s Rick Seaney wrote. “This hike could still roll back; consumers will let the airlines know by accepting or rejecting the higher prices as they return to airfare shopping for spring break and business travel now that the holidays are past.”The bump came even as the major U.S. airlines continued to offer some fares at especially low prices in an effort to compete with low-cost carriers, most notably Spirit and Frontier. An analysis conducted by the travel and aviation consulting firm Harrell Associates found that as of Dec. 21, the average lowest fare for each of 280 routes offered by American, Delta or United was down 23% year-over-year.Meanwhile, on Tuesday, American was selling roundtrip tickets of less than $100 from its Miami hub to five out-of-state routes, according AirfareWatchdog.comAs of Nov. 30, the average domestic fare was down slightly less than 2% compared with a year earlier, according to ARC.