How do high fuel prices affect summer travel plans?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – High fuel prices are affecting the cost of summer vacations and making home vacations more attractive.

But the travel industry says that will not stop Americans from booking flights, especially since the coronavirus pandemic thwarted travel plans over the past two summers.

U.S. Airlines reported that high demand allows them to increase flight fares and offset additional fuel costs.

But trend monitors say average tariffs are still well below pre-pandemic levels.

The average U.S. fuel price fell to $ 4.27 a gallon on Friday after setting a record high, which peaked at $ 4.33 on Monday, according to the American Automobile Association.

high prices

If refueling a car seems too expensive, imagine refueling an airplane.

Some Boeing 737s require about 6,900 liters of fuel, which, based on the latest prices reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, would cost about $ 13,300 more than last year.

said Delta Airlines It expects to burn 750 million liters of fuel in the first three months of this year alone.

Fuel is one of the biggest sources of cost for airlines, and with the price of gallons of aircraft fuel rising to unprecedented levels since 2008, many US airlines are signaling that they will shift the burden on passengers.

Delta executives told a conference this week that passengers can expect price increases “from $ 15 to $ 20 per destination,” which is about 10% of the value of a $ 200 ticket. As indicated by United Airlines andJetBlue Airways Also, higher fuel costs will be included in ticket prices.

Flight extras can cost more

High baggage rates are one way airlines can offset fuel costs., Plain_textCredit: Shutterstock

Henry Hartfeldt of Atmosphere Research, a consultancy, said he expects price increases to be “moderate” and “upward”, noting that airlines have other, less obvious ways to raise fares.

“They can increase the prices they are charging us for optional products,” he told CNN.

Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine took oil prices to new heights, airline tickets were even higher than last year.

According to the Hopper travel app, spring break prices have risen by an average of 21% higher than 2021, but 6% lower than pre-pandemic prices in 2019.

When inflation is included, Scott’s Cheap Flights notes that ticket prices are 23% lower than they were two years ago.

Think twice about the journey

How high oil prices affect summer travel plans
If flights become too expensive, people may resort to a road trip as an alternative plan. But refueling will also cost a lot., Plain_textCredit: Lisa Roe

Experts said the cost of travel and other expenses suggest travelers may reconsider their plans.

Darius Dole from Cleveland told CNN that he only travels a few times a year and that higher prices would make a “big difference” in his choice.

Dole acknowledged that he understands that airlines also have higher costs, but there is a limit to what is acceptable.

“If it becomes unreasonable, I think people will give up traveling, and it just depends on the growth rate and how strongly you want to go somewhere,” he said.

United Airlines describes the travel requirement as “unprecedented”, while Delta Air Lines describes it as “unprecedented”, and American Airlines says Bookings hit record highs three times last week.

“Reservations are very strong right now,” said U.S. CEO Doug Parker.

“It just shows that the demand for travel is really high,” he added.

Reduce flights and costs

How high gas prices affect summer travel plans
Airlines are reducing flights, plain_textCredit: Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

However, airlines are finding themselves reducing flight schedules to keep costs under control.

The American airline had already planned to fly less than the pace before 2019, but has reduced its schedule more than expected.

Alaska Airlines justified the “sharp rise in fuel costs” that reduced its capacity.

Budget airline Allegiant Airlines said it would cut 5-10% of its flights “instead of raising fares”.

“This means that if we usually fly one five-day line a week, we can reduce it to four,” said Sonya Padgett, an Allegiant Air spokeswoman.

Some airlines also face other problems.

Southwest Airlines indicated it would reduce its flights by 7% over the next three months due to staff shortages.

Southwest Airlines CEO Tammy Romo said the company plans to hire 8,000 employees this year and is “in the process of finding the right staff”.

stuck in trouble

Higher flight and ride costs, and fewer places in the sky can bring some vacation closer to home.

“I think this summer we will practically see a lot of people coming closer to their homes if gas prices continue to rise at the pace they have been,” said Bill Ezell of the Texas A&M Transport Institute. Or 200 miles.

The other passengers saw that they were stuck in a dilemma.

If you have to drive or travel, Delia Sharpe, from Michigan, asked, “Well, the fuel is high and the tickets are high, I think we are definitely a loser anyway.”

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