You might raise an eyebrow at the fuel prices when you’re filling up your car, but that’s nothing compared to the price hikes of jet fuel that the airlines are having the contend with. In the past year, fuel for aircraft has risen by a massive 50%. American Airlines has stated that the fuel price increase is going to cost them a whopping $2 billion! That money has to come from somewhere, and unfortunately, ultimately, it’s going to have to come from us, the passengers.

This isn’t the first time

Airlines are now starting to indicate that ticket prices could well increase this year, especially if the cost of fuel continues to rise. We’ve been here before, around a decade ago oil prices reached a record level and as a result, airlines began to add a fuel surcharge to ticket prices. If we see this again, it could mean high prices for some time to come, even if fuel prices fall, as last time it happened, the airlines were not in any rush to remove the surcharge.

But technology has advanced since then

However, the situation may not be as bad as it was then, as planes are now more fuel efficient than they were a decade ago, with fuel costs now only accounting for around 17 to 22 percent of the operating costs for an airline.

What changes can we expect and when can we expect them?

With many flights over the summer already booked up with holidaymakers, it’s unlikely we’ll see any changes until the summer season is over. Then we’re likely to see the price of business class and premium economy seats rise. With a great deal of pressure on the airlines to keep fares low, we may not see the price of economy seats rising, but of course we don’t know for sure, and if fuel prices keep rising, then extra measures will no doubt have to be taken.

If you fly to or from a smaller airport, you may also see an increase in your ticket price. Some newly added routes and less economical routes might disappear altogether, and the choice of dates and flight times may well be reduced as more flights are consolidated.

So for now, you probably don’t need to worry about your summer flights increasing in price, but if you’re planning a fall vacation, and you like to fly business or premium economy, you may need to budget more for your trip than you’d expect.

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