With price of jet fuel on the rise, experts predict when airfares will spike

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Jet fuel prices are on the rise, but experts say we're not yet seeing an increase in plane ticket costs, not yet anyway.

Plane fare increases usually lag behind fuel price changes by several months. Gas prices are soaring right now, so what about air travel?

"Airfare had been going up anyway because of increase in demand. It was already on it's way up gradually, but we're not seeing a big surge like we're seeing at the pump," says Willis Orlando of the Scott's Cheap Flights travel site.

Orlando says airplane ticket prices have risen 2 to 3 percent due to the demand coming out of the pandemic, and the fact that we're headed into the spring and summer travel season.

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"The airfare is getting more expensive and gas prices getting worse, so if I have an option we can just stay home," says traveler Vasana Purpura. But while Purpura may be paying more to travel the country with her hockey playing daughter, it's nothing compared to the increased airfare prices that may be coming as airlines push ticket prices for travelers higher, in an attempt to cover the increased fuel costs.

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"If we see these over 100 dollar a barrel for oil last a few weeks or few months, I'd expect to see that start to show up in airfares mid-summer," says Orlando.

Those with AAA tell ABC7 News that airline bookings through February are up 200 percent since last year but still down 32 percent since 2019.
A fare hike due to the high oil prices would be a major blow to airlines that are currently in heavy competition to welcome travelers back.

"I don't fly a lot," said traveler Robin Kinnel when we talked with him at SFO.

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"Starting to travel again," said Anthony Earl, who travels around the world as a missionary.

Right now though, there are deals to be had.

"For flying, I think there are a lot of opportunities to get out and see the world. I mean today, coming back, flights were empty. I mean there was no one on my flights," said Mark Brodeur who had just arrived from the Maldives when we spoke with him.

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