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How will rising fuel costs affect travel?

Posted at 9:19 PM, Mar 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-13 23:19:16-04

SALT LAKE CITY — With fuel prices on the rise, a lot of travelers are wondering if now is the right time to buy flights if costs continue to soar.

“I have some upcoming trips I’ve already purchased tickets. Don’t want to do that last-second,” said Joseph Daily.

Daily is no stranger to flying.

“Almost two million miles with Delta, so I spend a lot of time on airplanes,” he said.

Traveler Russ Schumacher said he’s already noticed an uptick in prices and expects passengers won’t want to work with the costs.

“They’re not going to travel. They’re not going to drive either,” he said.

“Unless prices were to go up 50 percent, then people are going to start thinking twice whether they’re willing to travel or not,” said Brad Clawson with Clawson Travel.

Clawson Travel is one of Utah’s oldest travel agencies.

“My grandma started it in 1933 and it’s been in the family ever since,” he said.

He said fuel prices only make up a small portion of airline tickets — around 1-5 percent. Still, he said ticket costs typically go up at the same time as fuel costs.

“Anytime there’s an event like this, as one airline starts raising prices, everyone starts raising along. They try to stay together,” he said.

Clawson said he doesn’t think this will really affect the demand to travel, but he said it’s also too soon to know for sure. Despite the uncertainty, he said it’s always best to book flights in advance.

“Definitely could be record-setting. That’s too early to tell,” he said.