Gas Prices Take Toll on Airline Industry

July 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Skyrocketing fuel prices are taking a deeper toll on the airline industry.The skies aren't as friendly as they used to be. This United Airlines commercial takes us back to the days when you got a free meal and drinks on just about any flight. Now, even checking a bag costs extra money. And more turbulent times are ahead.

"Yes, I would say prices will rise in Fresno yes, everywhere else, yes," said Russ Widmar.

Russ Widmar, Fresno Airport's Director of Aviation said American Airlines and Express Jet recently cut several flights from F.Y.I., and a global database called the "Airline Guide" is projecting 14% percent fewer seats will be available starting in October.

The Airline Guide shows that just about every airport in the country will have fewer passenger seats, as airlines ground smaller propeller planes for larger regional planes and reduce the number of flights.

Travel agent Bernadette Hansen predicts a major shift in who will book flight reservations in the future as airline prices soar. "It's not going to be every person is going to be able to travel now. It's going to be who can afford it and who has the discretionary dollars."

As prices continue to fluctuate Hansen advises travelers to pre-pay everything from hotels, to car rentals, to tours.

So fasten your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen, you're in for an expensive ride the next time you fly.


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