The rise in the price of airline tickets is a significant issue that many travelers are dealing with. After two years of struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans are ready to go on vacations as we continue to witness a significant decrease in infections. It seems it will be a challenging year for air passengers even after the lift of Covid-19 restrictions. There is a new major challenge facing the airline industry, causing a significant increase in the prices of airline tickets. There has been a recent invasion of Russia in Ukraine. The effect of this war is evident in the impact it has on the cost of gas and fuel prices. A survey from the American Automobile Association (AAA) shows that the average gasoline price has been at its all-time high since 9th March. According to NYTimes, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $4.252, which is way above the previous record set in 2008.
The President of the United States announced that the U.S would ban all oil imports from Russia to strangle Russia's economy's main artery. The impact of this decision is a significant rise in gas prices. Gas stations are not only feeling this effect, but travel experts predict that the increase in oil prices will have a ripple effect that will make airline tickets expensive. Previously it cost $24,000 to fuel a 737, but now the gas price is $36,000. The opposite effect of this situation is that it now costs an additional $5 per hour for passengers to travel by air. A two-hour round trip costs an extra $10. Is there a way that we can solve this problem to save the consumers from grappling with the rising cost of gas prices? Here are five things the government can do to combat the increasing prices of airline tickets.
Establish an abiding energy policy that focuses on lowering gas prices
It may seem unreasonable or impossible, but it is something that we can work towards. It will not be easy, but it will assist everyone. According to ABC News, in every airline industry, at least 33% of the airline ticket is attributed to the cost of fuel. Legislating outstanding government policies where oil prices do not exceed $70 per barrel is one way to reduce oil prices rather than wait for cheaper biofuels' future supply. Maybe you wonder, suppose airlines do not reflect the savings on airline tickets? If we reason logically, about five years ago, many years of fuel hedging positively affected the Southwest as oil prices went up. The move allowed the airline to counter all temptations to increase ticket prices as they waited for fuel prices to stabilize.
Implement a visa waiver program with all countries
According to the General Manager of Incheon Airport, the demand for traveling by international visitors is on the rise because of the Visa Waiver Program, which allows visitors to bypass torturous red tapes. It is advantageous to airlines and passengers because an increase in demand results in more flights. The issue is that the program is limited to only 37 countries. The Visa program needs to be implemented in all countries to combat the rising prices of airline tickets. The current visa waiver program in the U.S needs to be adjusted, and the $14 fee that passengers pay needs to be removed so that the program can serve its purpose.
Reduce airline ticket taxes
If you buy an air ticket that costs $250, the state will charge 25% of this amount on taxes and fees. The problem is the authorities in charge constantly threaten to increase the amount of tax on airline tickets. 25% is already a high amount, and something needs to be done to control the amount of tax levied on airline tickets. An increase in the tax charged has a significant ripple effect on the cost of an airline ticket.
Issue a permit that allows airlines to have a majority of shares owned by foreign investors
Virgin Airlines is one of the most famous airlines. Many people worldwide prefer to use this airline because it is very comfortable and the air ticket price is relatively low. Richard Branson, the airline owner, is passionate about steering the airline and maintaining high-quality service. Competition is vital in combating the rising prices of airline tickets. It regulates the prices set by airline industries. The solution is to allow foreign investors to fund start-up companies. The more the airline companies, the more the competition. We are all aware of what happens when the competition kicks in. An increase in competition means that the product in question is in high supply. An increase in supply results in ticket prices lowering.
Eliminate all the non-airline barriers to air travel
The government needs to eradicate the numerous barriers that suffocate the air travel ecosystem. They need to simultaneously inspect and be vigilant on all issues that relate to safety. The state should handle delayed flights and stop diddling with NexGen but focus on promoting it everywhere. The airport's security department should not be allowed to hire its screeners. They should also forward at least half of the travelers who rushed for screening, and they should not charge them. Reduce the amount of time spent in check-ins. They need to allow at least a 20-minute allowance for checking in. According to Consumer Reports, the international and border departments permit a maximum wait time of 30 minutes for international travelers and set a standard treatment for all travelers.
The above are just a few measures that the government can implement to combat the rising prices of airline tickets. We live in uncertain times where the costs of every commodity are skyrocketing. Economic uncertainties result from the recent covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing altercations between Russia and Ukraine, and both are significant suppliers of essential basic goods like fuel. The government needs to protect its citizens against such unforeseen misfortunes that are likely to destabilize their financial security.
Written by Dana Hanson
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