Fuel Prices, Ticket Prices and Airline Profits

Fuel Prices have spiked like crazy over the last few weeks. There have been numerous articles in the news about the impact of these prices on Airfares and Airline profits. One of the most informative news stories I heard was on NPR earlier today. ClickFuel Prices and air fares.jpg here to read and listen to the story. According to the story, jet fuel is up 50% year over year, going from $2 per gallon to $3 in an year.

I am certainly seeing a spike in air fares, even on leisure routes like Washington DC to Orlando (IAD-MCO). Here is a comparison of what I paid for trips I took last year as opposed to what they are costing this year. This is in no way a scientific comparison as days ahead of the trip I purchased the ticket was not the same. I have tried to keep flight timings as close as possible. The flights from last year are actual trips I flew and the ones for this year are what is available on the websites. While not statistically significant, it is a good sampling.

Washington, DC – San Diego, CA (IAD – SAN) on United:

March 2010: $586.30

March 2011: $757.80

Washington, DC – Charlotte, NC (IAD – CLT) on US Airways:

March 2010: $484.40

March 2011: $704.00

Washington, DC – Albany, NY (IAD – ALB) on United:

March 2010: $1296.40

March 2011: $1447.40

Anyone else feeling the pinch? Do you foresee higher prices coming as the price of oil does not seem to be leveling off anytime soon? Do you think we will see the return of Double EQM promotions as airlines try to lure travelers back (like they did on 2009)? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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  1. From hubs like Chicago, I am seeing a larger number of low weekend fares for the upcoming weekends. I think United mostly is desperate to fill up seats.

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