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Insta-CoGo: Even Higher Airfares?!?

Cindy Loose

Shopping for summer airfares, shocked at the prices, and wondering if you should wait for a sale?

You could do that, and maybe you'd get lucky, but the experts aren't betting on it.

Big reason: jet fuel prices. You may be thinking, "But they've already added some hefty fuel surcharges, so won't that take care of that cost, and maybe even discourage some people from flying, so the the airlines will have empty seats they have to dump?"

Actually, even with fuel surcharges of $10 to $50 even for a short-haul flight, airlines aren't coming close to passing along the increases in jet fuel prices. "The surcharges so far don't come close to covering the increased [jet fuel] costs," says Wake Forest economics professor Rick Harris, who specializes in airline pricing and capacity issues. "Airlines are eating at least half of the increased costs, easily," he adds.

His prediction: "I expect these surcharges will be substantially higher before all this is done. I see higher prices by the middle of summer throughout the heavy travel season into mid-fall. Maybe substantially higher."

Here we go again.

By Cindy Loose |  May 8, 2008; 6:18 AM ET  | Category:  Air Travel , Airline Industry , Cindy Loose , Insta-CoGo
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What I want to know is....with mergers and bankruptcies, should I use my FF miles ASAP? I've got a bunch on Delta, for example. Should I book now?

Posted by: Susan | May 8, 2008 9:22 AM

Oooo. I'm thinking empty middle seats. Mmmm.

Posted by: Karen | May 8, 2008 9:34 AM

This is exactly why my husband and I are driving our annual "triangle trip" of Minneapolis to Upstate NY to DC and back home. (Got families to visit since they won't come out to us.)

Because we are booking a series of one-way trips, we are saving huge amounts of cash by driving our high-mileage sedan and picking up the odd hotel room here and there. And we don't have to deal with TSA, which is a bonus...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 8, 2008 9:41 AM

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