Cost of airline tickets going up as jet fuel costs rise

Travel agents have noticed airline ticket prices are on a steep incline because of the cost of jet fuel.
Updated: Mar. 8, 2022 at 5:30 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Drivers continue to see all-time high gas prices and with the U.S. now banning Russian oil imports, consumers worry it might get worse. Now, they are noticing an increase in airline ticket prices.

Travel agents have noticed airline ticket prices are on a steep incline because of the cost of jet fuel, but they don’t think that will deter travelers who have waited almost two years for some of these trips.

Doreen Coakley Rodriguez is the owner of Doreen’s Going Places Travel Services. Over the past week and a half as she’s booking flights for her customers, she’s noticed the cost of airline tickets going up.

“Their prices are changing overnight, so people that came in yesterday and are coming in today, it’s moving and moving fast,” Coakley Rodriguez explained.

AAA spokesperson Mark Schieldrop told Western Mass News that the increase in the price of flights is most likely directly linked to the increase in the price of jet fuel, which is made from oil.

“Prices have been increasing this year, about 20 percent on average…With what’s going on with the price of jet fuel, that is only going to make prices go up even more. Next to labor, airlines’ biggest expense is fuel,” Schieldrop said.

According to the website, the price per gallon for jet fuel on March 7 was $3.62. A month ago, on February 7, it was $2.73 and a month before that, it was $2.41

Schieldrop said this steady increase in jet fuel prices will reflect on airline ticket prices, but consumers won’t feel it nearly as much as they are the increase in gas at the pump.

“Airlines are in a difficult position because they don’t want to alienate their customers. If they raise prices to cover the cost of the fuel increase 100 percent, they may be pricing people out of the market. It’s a fineline airlines have to walk in order to absorb some of the costs, but at the same time, not make flying so expensive that they undermine their business,” Schieldrop added.

Although flights are growing more expensive by the day, Coakley Rodriguez said it’s not stopping her customers from booking their trips they’ve been waiting nearly two years for. Instead, they’re booking early.

“Instead of waiting to see if things drop, they get the point that if the fuel at the pump is high, it’s only going to get higher in their air tickets,” Coakley Rodriguez noted.

Travel agents said to book any planned flights as soon as possible since prices will only increase. They also suggested shopping around and being more flexible with your travel plans.