Low gas prices impact airfare, flight experience

Low gas prices having dramatic impact on air travel

BOSTON — You may not have to pay as much for your next vacation.

Lower gas prices have also meant lower fuel prices for airlines. Travel experts say cheaper airfares may not be the only way you’re seeing a difference when you fly.

Travel consultant Steve Jermanok, of Active Travels says the drop in the price of crude oil has led to air carriers lowering airfares.

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“I think this is the great season to really get great deals,” Jermanok said.

According to Consumer Group Airlines for America, airfares are lower today than they were in 2004, which is the last time fuel prices were this low. They say that prices were down 5 percent in 2015.

Jermanok says with oil prices down more than 50 percent, the savings should be more.

“It should have much more of an impact than it does right now. Delta made $4.5 billion last year. That's a 6 percent increase than the year before, and that was primarily due to fuel reduction,” Jermanok said.

But some airlines are using their profits to improve your flight. American Airlines and United just announced they will offer in-flight snacks free of charge. American is also adding in-flight entertainment. Jetblue plans to add free gate-to-gate Internet and in-seat power outlets with USB ports.

Still, Jermanok admits you are saving more, especially when discount airlines fly to the same destination.

“The more competition you have, the cheaper the price will be,” Jermanok said.

Jermanok says there are three things you can do to really cash in on the savings. Plan ahead and be flexible with your travel dates. Flying on off-peak days and times like Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. And it always pays to shop around.