Updated from 2:44 P.M. EST
Just days after raising its air fares up to $40 roundtrip,
rescinded the increase Monday after it failed to gain industry-wide acceptance.
Earlier on Monday,
Delta Air Lines
rolled back similar fare increases. Those moves followed
decision not to raise its air fares.
Over the weekend, all major airlines except Northwest had followed Continental's lead.
Northwest has held out on similar industrywide moves in the past, forcing several airlines to rescind the increases.
, a discount travel Web site, reported that Continental,
America West Airlines
, Delta and US Airways had pulled back from raising their fares Monday; US Airways confirmed its move.
"Northwest has always been a spoiler," said Tom Parsons, editor and publisher of Bestfares.com. "In 1998 the airlines attempted to raise fares 12 different times and they were rolled back because Northwest didn't go along with it. On Feb. 19 they tried to raise fares $30 and Northwest didn't go along."
Because of tight competition in the industry, airlines tend to revoke fare increases if a major carrier does not go along with the increase.
David Castelveter, a spokesman for US Airways, declined to comment on the reasons for rolling back the increase. Spokespeople for the other airlines were not immediately available to comment.
On Friday, Continental said it was raising fares in order to cope with rising fuel prices, which have tripled over the last year. It was the third increase since October and the largest one in recent history. Previously, Continental increased fares by up to $20 in October and then implemented a fuel surcharge in January.
Continental is considered to be among the airlines most vulnerable to higher fuel prices having one of the least aggressive fuel-hedging programs in place. Hedges protect airlines against a jump in fuel prices by allowing the companies to buy fuel at preset prices; they can also hurt airlines should prices drop.
Continental closed down 3/4, or 2.1%, at 34 7/16, Northwest ended down 9/16, or 3.2%, at 17 3/16, and America West shed 3/16, or 1%, to close at 13 1/8. Delta ended the session higher, closing up 1/2, or 3%, at 49 5/16, as did US Airways, which rose 7/16, or 2%, to 21 5/16.