CWRU Travel Digest
Airlines spent 37% more on jet fuel in 2011 than in 2010, but still turned a profit. This was due to the industry's success in passing along higher costs as surcharges and outright airfare increases. A recent Continental/United RT from Cleveland to London Heathrow via Newark is an example. The itinerary was advertised at $580, but when taxes, fees, and surcharges were added, the price tag reached $870. Airfares themselves were up 15-20% in 2011.
Inexpensive destinations from Cleveland still include Baltimore-Washington (BWI) and Chicago-O'Hare (ORD). Roundtrips to these airports can be as low as $130 including tax. Florida destinations also are bargains. Pre-tax RT fares on Continental-United to Orlando (MCO)begin at $218. Fort Lauderdale (FLL), an alternate destination to the Miami airport, has some February-March flights starting at $228 plus taxes and fees.
There was a time when airlines adjusted schedules and equipment once per quarter. Now changes occur more frequently. For example, the Cleveland-San Francisco (SFO) route on weekdays is adjusting from one 125-passenger 737-700 aircraft per day to two 124-passenger A319s to two larger 737s all in the span of just two months. Also, watch for daily frequency changes on the popular Cleveland - Chicago-O'Hare route. Frequency goes from a maximum of 11 weekday flights to as few as two per day on the weekends.