Jet fuel price increases could affect costs of airline tickets

As gas and oil prices spike, the airline industry is also being impacted by the price of jet fuel.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- It's time for spring break and summer vacation is coming up.

The airline industry was hit hard by the pandemic and now there's another hurdle, jet fuel prices are rising.

"I just recently purchased tickets to go to Mexico. I got a really good fare and looked a day later and it was over $500 for roundtrip," said Daniel Lepore, who was at Long Beach Airport on Tuesday.

Brian Sumers, the editor-at-large of travel site Skift, said the recent spike in oil has a major impact on jet fuel prices.

"Fuel is a wild card. It's a big cost for airlines. It's one of the two biggest costs along with labor and as the price of fuel goes up, airlines are going to do whatever they can to try to raise ticket prices to recoup that price of fuel," said Sumers.

With gas prices rising, some travelers say if airline tickets also rise, it'll be hard to travel at all.

"I know people that just want to get out and travel with the easing up of restrictions and they even want to drive, but gas prices are through the roof and can they afford it or not?" said Lepore.

The International Air Transport Association's jet fuel price monitor estimates that jet fuel prices as of March 4 increased more than 27% in one week, and more than 96% in one year back when prices were still recovering from the dip during the pandemic.

"This is a global commodity sometimes fuel prices go up and sometimes fuel prices go down and I don't think its necessarily going to be unaffordable for people to travel in the next year, you'll probably see higher ticket prices," said Sumers.

Sumers says if you're going to be booking during a time typically high in demand, it's probably best to book now.

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