The average price of gas in the United States continued to fall last week as American drivers rejoiced at being able to fill their tanks for as much as 33% less than this time last year. Yet with the falling price of oil leading to lower prices at the pumps, the same thing hasn't been happening for airfares. As The Hill's Keith Laing writes, that's got consumer advocacy groups like Arlington, Va.-based Travelers United scratching their heads:
"The AAA auto club said Monday that the average price of gas on Monday was $2.19 per gallon, which the agency said was a record 102 days of decline in prices at the pump.
The average gas price on Monday was 52 cents cheaper than the amount drivers paid a month ago and $1.12 less than the average on Jan. 5, 2014, according to the auto club
The average domestic airfare was meanwhile $389 in 2014, compared to an average of $388 in 2013 and $387 in 2012, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Transportation."
Travelers United Chairman Charlie Leocha is quoted in the article as feeling "irritated at the lack of an understandable airline response to this situation." Even if one offers benefit of the doubt and assumes that eventual savings will come in time, Leocha points out that it didn't take nearly this long for the industry to jack up prices when fuel costs were rising. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill,. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called for an investigation into the matter. Schumer's office released a statement in December stating that the current state of airfare "[defies] economic gravity."
Read more at The Hill
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