Rising fuel prices affect travelers by car or plane

Rising fuel prices affect travelers by car or plane

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By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

ALCOA (WATE) - Gas prices continue to climb toward $4 a gallon. Monday marked the 20th day in a row gas prices have increased across the country.

The national average is now $3.69 a gallon. That's a jump of 13 cents from a week ago.

Prices are a bit lower in Knoxville, but drivers are still feeling the strain at $3.51 a gallon. That's up from $3.46 last week.

Quincy Toussant says filling his tank is hard to afford. "Yeah the more I pay for gas, the less I have for groceries. It's just hard nowadays for anybody, for everybody," he said.

But it's not just drivers feeling the pinch. Many people who take to the skies to travel are also paying more.

McGhee Tyson Airport spokeswoman Becky Huckaby says when fuel costs rise, airlines take a hit and pass the extra costs along to consumers.

"An airline itself can be greatly impacted by the cost of fuel, and we're seeing that here in our market because of the fact it's the biggest costs an airline faces when it's trying to set a price for a fare," Huckaby said.

The higher fuel prices have caused some low fare carriers to reduce flights and pull out of some airports.

"If an airline who is traditionally a low fare carrier cannot provide a low fare, a price that people expect, they make considerations," Huckaby said.

She also says Allegiant Air flights from Knoxville to Las Vegas were canceled because of the rising fuel costs.

This week some airlines have increased their fares by $20 to $60 per round trip ticket.

This has some travelers being more budget conscious. "I may not be able to go on vacation now because of gas prices. It's just extremely high," Toussant said.

Airport officials say sometimes higher gas prices help low fare carriers because the cost of driving may wind up close to the flight cost. That means more people may opt to fly.

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