Gas prices are going down, why aren't airline fuel surcharges?

By Dan Wells - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - You would think with gas hovering around the $2 mark here in the Tri-state, airline tickets would go down.

Well, not so. And that is making it very hard for travelers to budget for this upcoming holiday travel season.

"The Friendly Skies" aren't so friendly anymore.

"It's becoming very expensive, especially if you have kids and you have to buy four and five tickets," said traveler Sandra Gibbs.

From fuel surcharges sticking to less planes flying this holiday travel season, It's increasingly difficult for airline passengers to get a handle on constantly rising travel costs.

"You're kind between a rock and a hard place," said traveler Rich Schlemmer.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the global airline industry is expected to deal with losses of around $5.2 billion dollars tied to fuel prices this year.

If you happen to be flying Delta, officials say there is still an $85 fuel surcharge on domestic flights. That's something consumers say is hard to swallow.

"Everybody needs a break," said traveler Amy Brinkmiller. "I'd love to fly for less money. It would be great."

But consumers will likely continue to pay the fuel surcharge for months or even years to come, as airlines try to re-coup those losses and cash-in on the peak travel season.

"Its not to bad if you get the flights early enough, but if it gets late, for example for Thanksgiving, I'm going to Reno from Las Vegas, and its like 300 bucks a person," said Schlemmer. "So holiday times can be tough."

"I think one thing we're finding out with the cost of flights is there are less flights to choose from," said traveler Wayne VanNostrand. "Its a lot harder to get the flight you want at the time you want. They're tying to get more people on less planes."

But here's some good news for you. If you're traveling to Europe, those fuel surcharges have been lowered, so you may get a least a little bit of a break.