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Jet fuel prices going up with oil prices

March 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The beaches are calling, and college students are answering. Spring break is upon us, and summer is right around the corner - 'tis the season for travel. But fliers are digging deeper into their wallets to pay for soaring airfares.

The FAA released its annual forecast this week, and it is predicting that the number of airline passengers will double in the next 20 years. But as the skies get more crowded, it's also getting more expensive. Rising oil prices mean jet fuel prices are going up.

"We've seen airfares go up 5.5 percent in February and March," said Jeff Klee of CheapAir.com, a Calabasas-based online travel company.

And that's just domestic flights. International airfares are even worse.

"We're seeing a lot of $400+ fuel surcharges and it doesn't bode well for the summer," Klee said.

He says airfares are rising because for the past several years, airlines have been cutting routes and seats, which lets them charge more for the remaining seats. But the pinch Americans have been feeling at the pump is being felt by the airlines as well.

"Every time the price of oil rises by a dollar, that costs the industry $1.6 billion," Klee said.

It's a pricy tab that is mostly being picked up by fliers.