The airlines need to make money. They are facing high fuel costs so they have drastically cut back supply of seats over the past few years. Now 2008 expect to see significantly higher air travel costs.
Experts are predicting increases in air travel expenses of 5 to 10 percent with most leaning to the high end. The perk that many companies are thinking about cutting back on, first class travel.
High oil prices and tight limits on the number of seats for sale are expected to drive up air fares.
In mid-November, business fares on the 280 busiest U.S. routes were up 8 percent year-over-year, according to price tracker Harrell Associates.
The AmEx forecast foresees an annual increase next year for international business-class fares in a range of 5 percent to 10 percent. For domestic coach fares, it projects increases of 1 percent to 5 percent.
Many big employers are looking for ways to manage around the fare increases. Mona Crisp, travel manager at Dallas-based 7-Eleven, is pushing her travelers to take responsibility for saving money without necessarily reducing their travel.
7-Eleven — like nearly three-quarters of companies that responded to a National Business Travel Association survey — now provides its corporate travelers with an online booking tool that compares fares. via IndyStar.com