'Free' Frequent Flyer Ticket? Not So Fast

ATLANTA (AP) -- Delta Air Lines Inc. said Friday it will start adding surcharges of $25 or $50 roundtrip on frequent flyers' free tickets to help offset soaring fuel costs.

The lower fee applies to flights in the U.S. and Canada. The $50 surcharge will be tacked on to trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights, as well as on routes to the Caribbean and Latin America.

The change takes effect on SkyMiles award tickets issued starting Aug. 15.

"This was a difficult but essential decision in the face of record-high fuel costs," Jeff Robertson, SkyMiles managing director said. "We hope this is temporary, and should fuel prices subside from current levels, we will reevaluate this surcharge."

The Atlanta-based carrier also said it plans to introduce a new multi-tiered award program and other initiatives over the next two months.

Delta shares fell 7 cents to $5.39 in morning trading.

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