Airlines shares slump as analyst says United’s decision to remove change fees likely angered rivals

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Airlines shares traded broadly lower on Monday as the group did not appear to take too much benevolence towards United Airlines Holdings Inc.’s UAL,
-3,30%
move to permanently remove the schedule modification fee. The US Global Jets ETF JETS,
-2,45%
fell 2.4% in afternoon trading, while the three biggest declines in the Dow Jones Transportation Average DJIA,
-0,61%
were stocks of air carriers. United prior to opening that it was removing change fees on all U.S. flights, effectively immediately, and said that starting Jan. 1, pending flights for customers departing on the day of their travel will be free. Vertical Research Partners analyst Robert Stallard said United’s move could end up being the equivalent of the US airline crossing the Rubicon. “While passengers can rejoice, we don’t know if United rivals will be so in love with this decision,” Stallard wrote in a note to customers. United stock fell 3.2%. Among Dow Transportation’s competitors, the shares of Alaska Air Group Inc. ALK,
-4,07%
lost 3.7%, JetBlue Airways Corp. JBLU,
-3,46%
fell 3.4%, American Airlines Group Inc. AAL,
-3,27%
fell 3.4%, Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL,
-3,10%
decrease of 2.9% and Southwest Airlines Co. LUV,
-2,62%
slipped 2.5%. Dow transports fell 1.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0,61%
lost 206 points, or 0.7%.

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