Weekend survey: Are the latest fare hikes fair?

Here’s a question I’ve been getting a lot since the beginning of the year: Are the current round of airfare hikes justified?

Sure, energy prices are rising with the turmoil in the Middle East. Jet fuel prices are up more than 50 percent from a year ago.

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But don’t airlines hedge their fuel purchases? (Hedging allows airlines to pre-pay for their fuel, offsetting the risk of higher prices.)

With airline ticket prices up by an average of more than $50 since the beginning of the year, are carriers just trying to cover their increased costs — or are they exploiting our expectations that ticket prices will rise, when, in fact, they have no reason to?

At least not yet.

Here’s the survey.

Beyond that, how are the latest fare increases affecting your spring and summer travel plans?

Are you going to stay closer to home to avoid higher prices at the pump or on the plane? Or are you going to travel, regardless?

Please share your comments. I’ll close the poll and post the results after the weekend, as always.

(Photo: Kona bish/Flickr Creative Commons)

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