High Gas Prices Raising Airline Ticket Costs

By Candice Leigh Helfand

WASHINGTON, D.C.(CBSDC) — For many Americans, the lamentation of rising gas costs is nothing new. It’s an everyday reality to see prices at the pump going up.

But now, those looking to get away from it all may encounter further troubles doing so, thanks to gas price hikes that have the potential to curb holiday travel and drive up the cost of plane tickets.

Travel buffs are just beginning to solidify their spring break and summer vacation plans. As they do, comparison shopping may show that such hikes have already started to take their toll on the cost of airfare.

“[R]ising jet fuel costs put significant cost pressure on the airline industry,” Steve Lott, vice present of communications for Airlines for America told CBSDC. “Regarding fuel, it was the airline industry’s largest expense in 2011, representing 35 percent of total costs. In 2011, the price of jet fuel reached a record high of $3.00 per gallon for the year.”

He continued, “It is even higher for the first two months of 2012.”

Cynthia Brough, director of public relations for AAA, said that as jet fuel costs go up in tandem with gas prices, the consumer could expect to pay more for their flight.

“As with any business, if [an airline] pays more for fuel and operational costs, they need to pass that cost on to the consumer,” she told CBSDC. “There have been [similar] effects in the past.”

Though the illegality of price signaling prevents airlines from discussing numbers, Allison Steinberg, senior media analyst for JetBlue Airways, told CBSDC that there are steps taken to try to stave off the potential effects of rising gas prices.

“We continue to believe the best tools for managing the impact of fuel expense are operating a fuel-efficient fleet and using efficient operating procedures, such as single engine taxi,” she said in an email. “In addition, we continue to manage our fuel hedge portfolio as a form of insurance to help mitigate price volatility and protect JetBlue against severe spikes in oil prices.”

It may take more extreme measures for airlines to keep up, though. Lott added that, from the year 2000 to the middle of 2011, jet fuel prices rose 268 percent. In that same time period, domestic airfare costs reportedly rose 10 percent.

“Fares over the past decade have not kept pace with costs or the price of fuel,” he noted.

According to information provided by the AAA National Office to CBSDC, some airlines have already taken such action, replacing larger jets with smaller, regional aircrafts that are more fuel-efficient in nature.

Travel website Expedia.com confirmed that prices have gone up for flights in recent history. However, they additionally stated that ticket sales have increased as well.

“Despite the recent rise in gas prices, Expedia sees people still taking to the skies,” Jeremy Boore, travel analyst for Expedia.com, said to CBSDC. “With regards to flights, on some of the most popular routes, Expedia sees ticket growth outpacing average ticket price growth.”

According to their collected data, tickets between Los Angeles International and John F. Kennedy International Airports in the past 28 days have gone up in price by 1.7%, with sales up 14.1% in comparison with the previous 28-day period.

Other popular routes saw similar rises in both cost and consumption.

“[T]here is still demand for travel, all things considered,” Boore added.

All the same, consumer surveys and data collected last year indicate that some travelers did make the decision to avoid air travel, instead opting to go by car.

American drivers will still have to pay more to vacation, however, statistics offered by the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that, for the week starting Feb. 27, gasoline prices per gallon averaged out at $3.71.

That amount reflects a rise of 13 cents from the previous week, and 33 cents from the same week in 2011.

The past month has also been statistically more expensive at the pump than last February, according to numbers collected by AAA. The data collected and presented by their Daily Fuel Gauge Report shows that on March 1, 2012, the national average for a gallon of gas is $3.74. The same time last year, Americans paid just $3.39 per gallon.

The increase in cost can be attributed to a number of things, including dwindling supplies and increasing demand as summer ticks closer and the politics surrounding crude oil acquisition, especially in the Middle East.

Avery Ash, manager of regulatory affairs for AAA, said that gas prices do tend to rise slightly as March begins and winter draws to a close. But the rise seen recently is atypical in size, due to geopolitical influences.

“Last year … we saw escalating tensions in Libya and northern Africa, and that uncertainty impacted the market – most specifically, the removal of Libyan crude from the market,” he told CBSDC, adding that this year’s recent tensions in Iran have taken their toll as well. “This time of year we do see some upward movement, but the last two years have broken the historical norm in the magnitude of the increases.”

A combination of pent-up vacation desires and years of experience with balancing personal budgets has helped American travelers enjoy some time away all the same, even if they had to change their approach.

“[Travelers] did … budget more wisely, by perhaps visiting national parks for free as opposed to another venue of higher cost,” Brough said. “They changed the type of travel, but they still traveled.”

But as Nancy White, who also directs AAA public relations, observed in their end-of-year holiday travel forecasts from 2011, many Americans will prioritize travel over other expenses, especially if family and friends are involved in the trip.

“The heartstrings outweigh the purse strings,” she said, quoting a colleague. “People will do whatever they need to do to spend time with loved ones, making cuts in other areas of spending to accommodate travel plans.”

  • nick

    Maybe they can just strap a couple of wind turbines on the wings instead

    • Sam

      For sure. A cadre of squirrels pedaling till the props and solar panels on the wings. That should do it.

      • me3213


      • Sa

        Gas Prices are going to just be an extra hit on the economy. Yes some places/businesses are going to rises price regardless, this just gives them a reason.
        At any rate, realize gas affects every part of the economy.. Shipping, Trucking, Airlines, Food Prices…


      • p3orion

        “Under my plan… [energy prices] would necessarily skyrocket.” — Presidential candidate Barack Obama, January 2008

        “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” — Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu, September 2008

        $1.84 per gallon — National average gas price on 1-20-2009, inauguration day

      • TheRealStory

        The daily news is being orchestrated by unelected officials who took over Washington and the media following the coup and cover up. When the truth leaked out, Disqus magically stopped working today leaving many sites without commenting features today.

        We have no democracy, no president. and freedom of press is an illusion.

        The next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

    • freecheese

      Great comment ! But the liberals will blame it on Oilman G.W. Bush !
      Of course, nobody will complain about Air Force One’s vacation trip service. Load up the golf clubs and the fat-ass ugly wife, and let’s go !

    • changomango

      How about jet engines powered by batteries, Obamas green dream!

    • David Kramer

      Obama, “I think my chances of re election are Fluked!”

    • Kelly Keane

      Does anyone remember flying in the 60’s when tickets were 3 times or more than what they are today and fuel was as cheap? They have made billions and billions and now the Sob Sister routine. Between the TSA assaults and whining, stop flying unless you absolutely have to.

      —————- http://911essentials.com

      • bob

        My guess is the airlines really are losing money since you can’t file bankruptcy when you’re making a fortune. I doubt the bondholders would just sit there quietly and accept huge losses.

  • jeff m

    Maybe. But a bigger factor is the damned TSA. Ridership is WAY down and empty seats are more prevalent. Higher fares are primarily due to the TSA and their constant violation of the 4th amendment. People are simply choosing not to fly.

    • John

      Amen Brother , but you know no-one gets let go from the TSA they will just put them on trains and highwasy

      • frank

        Then I will not travel highways, or ride the train, which help stimulate the economy.

        I will quit going to work and live like hermit, TSA is the casue offear to travel

    • red

      What are you talking about? Did you read the article? Flight purchases are up. And pretty sure every time I have been to any airport recently (usually a few times a month) they have been just as packed as ever.

      How is the TSA violating the 4th amendment in any way? Oh wait, they aren’t. You have no right, you have no promise, to an easy travel experience. If you don’t like the TSA, don’t fly! But, don’t think that your lack of flying translates to a general downturn in ridership, as that is nothing more than a fabrication.

      I always wonder how many people that hate the TSA have actually had problems with them? You hear every few days about someone throwing a fit or having a problem, but with the millions of air customers all the time, there are always going to be complaints.

      In the 25+ times I flew last year, I never once ran into a problem with the TSA. I never once was felt up improperly or had any awkward experience. I work with people that travel just as often as I, if not more so, and none of them ever report a problem.

      I’ve found that the large majority of people complaining about the TSA have never actually experienced any major problems.

      That said, the TSA is a sham and show be disbanded immediately. Let the airlines and airports handle their security, and if something happens let them take the fall for it. Report after report already shows the TSA doesn’t do much good. People get banned stuff passed them regularly, and every major problem since 9/11 has been stopped by passengers, not tsa employees.

      • B

        Yes, that’s a good little sheep. The govt is your friend. Stay in line and you will be happy. A good sheep is a happy sheep.

      • Sam

        red, I have personally been subjected to unwarranted and invasive body searchs and have no choice if I want to earn a living but to fly. Obviously you don’t know the constitution the TSA routinely violates our rights. If you enjoy having your buttocks rubbed and your body violated by high energy scans good for you.

      • Vicki

        The airlines have reduced flights and so the remaining flights are full. You’re correct, flying is a choice and due to the hassle I prefer to travel in a comfortable auto listening to satellite radio and using my I-pad when a passenger. It’s much more comfortable than going through the cattle line and getting zapped in the naked body scanner. You can easily google and find that airlines have cut flights.

      • HeresTheRealDeal

        After the coup and cover up the daily news is being orchestrated by unelected officials in Washington. They don’t want you to know that we have no president.

        The next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

      • Vicki

        What does your hatred of Sarah Palin and Herman Cain have to do with this conversation? what’s the deal, are you a Democratic operative? What scares you people so much about Palin that you still feel the need to trash her and put out a make-believe movie about her? Please note that Julianne Moore looks like a troll in comparison to Palin but most Democratic women look like trolls.

      • jeff m
      • Sickoflefteist

        You never had a problem with TSA? Is it because you wear your muslim robes on the flights?

      • Bob

        Red, I would agree to a point if the Airports were private operations. They receive government funds and under some sort of government control. If they were privately funded and run, you would not have an expectation of privacy and a violation of the 4th amendment. Since they are government run, yes they should not be violating your 4th amendment rights.

      • Steve

        Agree completely. I’ve never had nor witnesses any problems and I fly all the time. Flying used to be expensive and less safe. Whiners bore me to tears.

      • frank

        Government troll.

      • DRS

        Smaller, Regional Aircraft! Big planes haul more ‘hogs’ per gallon.

    • exbobbie

      Jeff m, you almost hit the nail on the head. Example, Los Angeles to London U.K with well known British Airline. Total Fare $894.30 traveling in March returning in April 2012. Airline charge $241.00, government fees and taxes $653.30. I get sick and tired of hearing people, not you Jeff, blame the airlines for the high costs of flying, it’s not the airlines, it’s the damn government, don’t tell me that $241 is a lot to pay to fly from L.A to London U.K.

  • Marie

    How’s that hopey changey thing working out for ya?????

  • Lady Mayor

    As a republican, and as a human, I find your comments repulsive. There are so many reasons to oppose Obama, but you had to go there. You’ve shown how simple minded you are. I’ve reported your comment.

    • David Kramer

      Republican and a human, aren’t you being redundant?
      By the way, have you been Fluked lately?

  • Lady Mayor

    I was repulsed by a bigoted and disgusting comment, which has apparently been removed. It was not meant for Marie, but a response to Marie.

    • Sam

      My apologies.

  • Sam Vaughn

    Lady Mayor, get a life. We are all so-o-o-o-o-o tired of this administration that some venting is going to occur. There is nothing above that is even the least bit offensive. I seriously doubt you are anything but a Democrat and a socilialist who thinks it’s entirely appropriate for the government to intervene in every aspect of our lives. Thanks to Obama fuel prices are going through the roof with exponentially devastating consequences. Millions of people are being ruined.

    • JustAGuy

      I don’t know what the comment was, but this gives me an opportunity to make a statement. From time to time, I see racist remarks about Barack Obama and his wife.

      Now, where does that leave black conservatives? We oppose Obama just like any other sane and patriotic American, but when we see racism about Obama being 1/2 Kenyan, where does that leave us?

      • Xenophon10

        Actually, most of the racist comments I see are from Liberal Trolls acting as if they are Conservative. I’d suggest you consider that.

      • Richard

        With a president whose father came from Kenya and a white mother who was from the midwest? Now how the bloody HELL is that racist?

      • JustAGuy

        @Xenonphon10, I thought about that. I hope that’s true.

        But I have seen over and over Obama Faithful pull out the race card. Back in 2009, they did it all the time. But as time progresses and Obama’s failures are more noticeable, they’re getting more scarce, but they’re still there.

        Heck, I’m a black conservative, and I’ve been accused of racism against Obama!

  • JustAGuy

    Well, Obama’s Energy Czar did tell a congressional hearing that high gas prices don’t bother them. They’re working hard to get cheaper batteries.

    So, pay up, this is all by design!

  • Dan L

    Really, Really, Really??? You mean prices are increasing because of Obama’s energy policies? Does CBS really think that I don’t know that prices are going up? Hamburger, Fuel Oil, Electricity, Eggs, Bread, Motor Oil, Gasoline, Plastics, Garbage bags, Soda, Ice Cream, airplane tickets, etc…… Perhaps the food stamp recipients don’t notice it but I sure do. Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich in 2012 I don’t care. Just ANYONE but Obama.

    • Dennis

      what he/she said!

    • nan st john

      I’d vote for my sock and running mate my shoe. we need some hope and it’s time for change

  • MattXL

    We can make pristine clean jet fuel and diesel from coal. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal – we are a hydrocarbon Super Power. And, the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to a pair of scientists who created a process to greatly increase the conversion efficiency. Yet, anti-American, anti-technology Liberal Luddites refuse to let us develop our natural resource treasure.

    • Pat

      Love the alliteration, it’s so true

  • Jackiell
  • Tommy2Gun

    Energy Policies were known from the beginning…costs would necessarily be higher.

    Chu sees no problem with the prices and admin is ok with them…Vote em out November.

    Jet fuel $3.00 a gallon, must be the airline rate. At the Signature FBO here its $7 and change…not much flying going on though.

  • Gordon Lee

    Another example of “news reporters” just reprinting press releases. The article above states:

    According to information provided by the AAA National Office to CBSDC, some airlines have already taken such action, replacing larger jets with smaller, regional aircrafts that are more fuel-efficient in nature.

    That is completely backwards. Those small regional jets are more INefficient in fuel consumption.


  • Marvin Totaler

    And I’m so happy seeing Obama work so feverishly to lower gas prices. The man is a prince. He cares so much about the gouged American public. What a sham, farce and bullthrower he is. Totally impotent is his exercise of influence and power.
    Let’s dump the dope on Nov.6th.

  • Dennis

    agree, anyone but this public sector moron

  • Ron

    It’s Bush’s fault because Obama did not recognize the scope of the problem that Bush left him…….but don’t worry, Recovery Summer Part 3 is comin”

    • David Kramer

      We are so Fluked!

  • Jim Bo

    I bet jet fuel prices don’t impact Air Force 1 since you get to pay for Obama’s campaigning.

  • Sheriff Jayne

    Perhaps Ob*ma will nationalize all the airlines and force them to buy Airbus for the new “Ob*maAir.” After his great success making Chevy Volts, Ob*ma as well continue to destroy our freedom of movement by wrecking aviation next.

  • Richard

    If George Bush were still President there would be NEVER ending stories blaming him for the rise in the price of oil and thus the increase in air fairs. Oh wait, come to think of it, they did just that in 2008. HYPOCRITES!

  • David Axelrod

    You can thank the dopey liberal Democrats for the $5/gallon gas that’s headed this way because that is exactly what they WANT.

    If you don’t think that’s true, then you are NOT paying attention!

  • AnnieNomiNous

    Really mainstream media? You just figured this out? The only reason you have been sitting on this story as long as you have is to protect the current administration…shameful! Those of us who have to travel have been noticing this trend of high airfares for some time now, so no excuses for your time-delay!

  • Dope and Chains

    All part of the United Nations’ Agenda 21. Worship the earth, restrict and eliminate the filthy humans and their activity.

    There’s also new ‘security’ fee increases coming too.

  • vidkid

    It will cost me and my two kids $1600 to fly from Dallas to upstate NY, it has gotten so high I just can’t afford it. Add in rental car and hotel and it’s $2500 for a week vacation? Is it me or are prices/inflation/price fixing & collusion making Americans paupers?

    • vidkid

      The Communist and Capitalist have merged and the new war is against the individual and their families.

      Oil speculators are manipulating the commodities market while the
      American people bleed! Clean out the Clowns in Washington DC and save
      America….. why are the politicians acting like communists and letting
      this uncontrolled GREED destroy our country?
      Repeal the Commodity
      Futures Modernization Act of 2000!! Why did they pass a law that let
      banks and speculators hyper inflate the price of oil that is vital to
      our nation’s economy? Why won’t they repeal it to solve our economic

      Enforce the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 that was signed into law by Obama!
      Why would they pass a law that corrects commodity gouging and then refuse to enforce it?

      Our leaders (traitors) have become turncoats and joined the side of
      the manipulators and speculators in Wall Street. Rising energy and food
      prices are a direct result of speculation, price fixing, and collusion.
      This country’s economic recovery will never happen as long as greed
      remains unchecked in Washington & Wall Street. Many families will
      suffer if our treasonous leaders fail to enforce the following bill they
      passed, here’s what the bill calls for….Government regulators must
      quickly implement the recently passed Wall Street reform legislation to
      prevent the continued manipulation of oil prices. These new regulations
      must close loopholes, improve oversight and increase transparency in the
      oil markets.Speculation Reform LegislationOn July 21, 2010,
      President Obama signed into law the Restoring American Financial
      Stability Act of 2010. Passing this legislation was a tremendous victory
      and should once again allow supply and demand to determine the price of
      energy – not Wall Street speculators. This law specifically addresses
      rampant speculation by:* Establishing tough regulatory oversight of commodity markets* Increasing transparency by requiring exchange trading and clearing of most energy contracts*
      providing government agencies with the authority to regulate
      over-the-counter derivatives. This oversight will prevent big banks from
      manipulating and cornering commodity markets* Closing known loopholes including the “Enron Loophole” and the “London Loophole”What’s Next?Government
      regulators at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) must
      adapt the new law into meaningful rules that stop rampant oil
      speculation. These new rules must reestablish strict position limits on
      energy commodities without creating new loopholes.The CFTC announced
      it could take months to implement new rules because the financial
      reform legislation included very complicated provisions. These delays
      could allow Wall Street lobbyists to influence and shape the final
      rules. In addition, speculators will use this interim period to continue
      manipulating oil markets

      • Fred

        High oil prices are only a symptom of the Fed’s monetary policy and runaway govt spending.

  • Liquidity

    The Obama Administration and the Democrat elite in general LIKE HIGH ENERGY COSTS because they all have their money invested with AL GORE! BIG AL AND BIG O ARE THE PROBLEM, NOT BIG OIL.I

  • walter12

    Another gift from the monster Obama, the Spawn of Satan.

  • Jesse


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