How will higher oil prices affect the price of your airline ticket?

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — If you’re planning to fly this summer or even this fall or later, it may be a good idea to book that ticket now. The price of oil is skyrocketing and that will have an impact on the price of jet fuel.

“Airlines just can’t seem to catch a break,” said Willis Orlando, a travel expert from Scott’s Cheap Flights. “The good news for airlines is that demand is coming back domestically so they are going to have passengers. But the bad news is their expenses have just gone through the roof.”

Orlando says the cost of jet fuel is one of the major expenses for airlines. He says most major carriers may have some fuel prices locked in for a few months but after that, their fuel costs will climb.

“At the moment if you’re going to book a fare on any airline you’re probably not going to notice that increase in fares like you would if you’re filling your car up,” Orlando said.

But he says with the unknown, if you know the travel dates you should book sooner rather than later.

“If you want to travel this summer you should be booking right this minute and particularly for domestic locations because the demand is going to be very high,” he said.

“And if you’re planning to travel, say in the fall or the winter, I would advise jumping on those fares now because if this crisis does persist, if oil prices do stay high for another two months, chances are those very cheapest fares just will not be quite as cheap as they are right now,” Orlando said.

Orlando says major airlines are getting a run for their money from budget airlines. He thinks many of the big carriers will not be quick to increase prices unless the smaller budget lines do so first.

“Because of the competitive environment, it’s kind of a game of chicken among the airlines, who is going to be the first to start raising those bottom fares,” he told us.

Orlando says budget airlines tend to be newer companies that have newer planes which is good for them.

“Those new planes are much more fuel-efficient than older jets,” he said.

Orlando also said that the Savannah market which now has two budget airlines, may fare better than other regional airports that don’t have them.

“In Savannah, you do have the two new budget airlines and you are lucky because those budget lines mean you are going to be able to get good fares for the foreseeable future on full-service carriers, I can almost guarantee that,” Orlando said .

He does say the oil market appears so uncertain now in terms of future fares that the best control passengers have in making their air travel plans well in advance and locking in fares now.

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