Where are airfares going?

Aug 22nd, 2008, 08:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 113
Where are airfares going?

The airlines were in trouble before oil prices began rising. Now it seems they are in bigger trouble.

They're charging for first or second bags. Now for pillows and blankets! Some now charge for cokes and peanuts. Remember when you got meals for free. Remember when flying wasn't such a hassle?

When I was a kid we never even thought about flying. We drove in the car for 4 days to Colorado every summer. Only the wealthy flew.

Now airfares are rising fast! Some airlines will be consolidating or going under which will mean less competition and thus higher fares.

Will future airfare be unreachable for the masses? Will they weigh us like cargo to determine the fare? Will air travel revert back to being only for the wealthy? Will people start driving again to their destinations? Will there only be one or two major airlines like with Amtrak or Greyhound? Are unions partly responsible for the rise in prices? What will future air travel look like and cost?
AttyWSW is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Forty years ago, a bargain R/T from the east coast to London, not easily found, was about $300. Five years ago, that same bargain R/T, excluding taxes and fees, was about $300.

Those days are gone. I look for that trip to double, or triple, in 5 years. And we'll whine, and moan, and gripe, but we'll pay it.

We're making a LOT more money that we did 40 years ago. We'll just spend a bit more of it on air travel.
bookhall is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:50 AM
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Maybe you'll pay for it. But those of us who are retired won't. We're not making a LOT more money.

We'll just vacation to places where we can drive or take a train. That really sucks for those of us who spent the last 20+ years raising kids, paying to send them to college (and hence not being able to afford to go places).

And they wonder why only 5% of US citizens own a passport. @@
MoiIsInTheHouse is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Stop whining. Historically, airfare is still extremely cheap, compared to 15, 20 or 30 years ago. Even after you add all the luggage fees and food cost.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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FWIW, both my wife and I ARE retired. I stand by what I wrote. We won't fly as much, but we'll still do it when we want/need to do it.
bookhall is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 10:57 AM
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I think the issue might be hedging of oil.

When the price of oil went up to $140 some of the airline decided they better lock in prices before it goes higher. Now they're stuck.

Wasn't SouthWest considered the smartest of them all because they've lock in $50 for the next year or so?

Myer is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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If you can only go to London on $300 or $400 roundtrip, then you won't be going to London again. Taxes alone is over $100.

But you can still find plenty of US-Europe fares pretty cheaply. Just a few days ago, searching for another Fodorite, I see Aer Lingus from Boston to Dublin for just over $200 one-way.

And domestically, if you're retired, you should be flexible on travel. I see lots of LA-NYC fares for $300 right now. Even if you have to check a bag each way, that only adds about $30. Buy on-board twice, adds $20. Is $350 expensive to fly across the country?

Or I was just looking at some fares to Honolulu for the next few weeks from Los Angeles. $355. Or about $800 to Hong Kong, which is about the same as the last decade and more. I'm not complaining.

What the airlines have done this time is cutting capacity. That means, if you need to fly on holiday weekends, or peak travel days, then you'll pay significantly more. But those of you that are retired, you can pick cheaper days or periods to fly.

As for Southwest, it posted a loss last quarter for the first time in 17 years, mostly because of fuel hedge loss. Its hedges helped it when oil prices were high, and hurt it when they were low. According to this release from last October, WN's hedged 85% of its 4Q fuel use at $62/barrel.

rkkwan is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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Yeah, depending on when you fly and where/if you have a connection, just the taxes and surcharges on flying to London add up to $150, and as much as $250 on some itineraries. And that's not including bag fees.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 04:11 PM
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Last night, Hawaiian Air had $128 OW tickets Portland or San Diego to Honolulu...lots of them and good till June.

I think air fares will remain low as long as the econoly remains poor.

lcuy is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20
I'm not looking for $300 trips to England, that was someone else.

I priced airfares for the summer, from here on the East Coast to Europe, various locations. Nothing was under $1000, without fees, and there are three of us (we have a special needs son living with us, permanently). By the time you get done with all that, it's $4000 just to fly whereever.

Flying around the US is one thing. I was talking about places to go where you need your passport....hence the mention of only 5% of Americans having a passport....
MoiIsInTheHouse is offline  

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