Fuel Prices Drive Up Airfares

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

April 12, 2006

You don't have to drive to feel the pinch of rising fuel prices. Airlines are also feeling it and now their passengers have to pay more for their tickets.

"The fuel surcharges we believe are driving the prices up," said Julie Arbelaez, Owner of Peace Frogs Travel.

Arbelaez says she's noticed an increase in airfare over the past year. On average travelers are paying about $100 more for their tickets than this time last year. Many airlines already in bankruptcy, simply can't afford to keep costs low.

"Prices were so low that the airlines are all failing and they can't afford to run their planes charging tickets as cheaply as they have in the past," said Arbelaez.

Officials at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport reached a record number of travelers last year, but say this year that number is down. Some wonder if the airfare will drive people to look for other travel alternatives.

"Do I think people will travel by car or travel less? No, the trend is people are traveling more than ever to be perfectly honest and they want to fly," explained Arbelaez.

For those who aren't willing to give up the skies there is good news, you can still get a good deal; you just have to be a little more flexible. Changing the airport you fly out of or even your dates could save you up to $100 or more.

Travel experts also add that planning well in advance can also save you some money.

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