Though it is often difficult for airlines to raise fuel charges successfully, it seems that the high price of gas has pushed the matter to a conclusion.
An across-the-board rise in fuel charges hinges on the whether an airline’s competitors match the initial rise. This time it was Continental Airlines who kicked things off and doubled their fuel surcharge last week, now charging $40 for a domestic round-trip ticket, up from $20.
Over the weekend, American Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways followed suit, encouraging other carriers to also raise their fuel charges.
If this seams unreasonable to you, the consumer, consider the facts. According to the ATA air travel uses up “19 to 20 billion gallons per year [and] every penny increase in the price of a gallon of jet fuel drives an additional $190 to $200 million in annual fuel costs for U.S. airlines.”
The ATA Quarterly Airline Cost Index highlights the high cost of fuel which constitutes up to 30 percent of an airline’s operating expenses.
In 2000, a barrel of crude oil cost has doubled in price.