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Fuel prices and airfares – Airlines are making record profits. Don’t bet on them passing any of that money along to you. | Slate

Americans making the drive to grandma’s house this Christmas will arrive with a little more cash in their wallets than they might have expected. Those traveling by air won’t be so lucky.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline was hovering around $2.50 on Wednesday, down roughly 22 percent from this time last year. U.S. airlines have been getting even more of a bargain, with the price of jet fuel falling by 32 percent during that same period. The difference, though, is that Americans aren’t seeing any relief when they book their tickets home for the holidays. The average domestic airfare has actually increased 3 percent—or about $10—this year, according to government figures and independent estimates.

Fuel accounts for anywhere between a third and half of airlines’ operating costs. If the price of jet fuel has plummeted, then why haven’t airfares fallen along with it?

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Fuel prices and airfares – Airlines are making record profits. Don’t bet on them passing any of that money along to you.

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