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For all you airport junkies out there, an interesting piece in the New York Times today reports that major airlines are being investigated on grounds that they’ve illegally fixed trans-Atlantic fuel surcharges.

We’ll let the NYT take it away: Most major carriers flying between the United States and Heathrow, London’s main international airport, charge passengers about 35 British pounds ($64) each way in fuel surcharges. The United States Department of Justice and Britain’s Office of Fair Trade have contacted British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, United Airways, American Airlines and possibly other airlines in connection with the investigation, which could lead to criminal charges, civil penalties or both.

Jet fuel costs have jumped 21 percent in the last year, the NYT reports, and airlines have spent $22 billion more on fuel this year than last. The fuel surcharges have attempted to recoup those losses.

ROB DAVIS

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