Soaring Gas Prices Affect Flights Too

Duke AhMoo of Pleasant Holidays
Duke AhMoo of Pleasant Holidays

(KHNL) - Rising fuel prices mean rising travel costs.

Local travel agents say even though prices for vacation packages have gone up, so have the number of locals going on vacation.

"I don't think our call volume has dropped off that much, because of the talk of the oil prices," said Duke AhMoo, of Pleasant Holidays. "In fact, it's picked up."

"People are still travelling because we live on an island," said Danny Ching of Non-Stop Travel. "You can't drive anywhere, so you have to fly."

And they say locals are still flying to popular destinations like Australia, Disneyland, and Las Vegas.

Travel agents say rising fuel costs have pushed vacation packages up $20-to-$80.

"People wanna travel," said Ching "That's one thing about Hawaiian people, they all wanna leave the island when the opportunity arises, so they'll go.

They say the recent addition of another airline in Hawaii has also helped. Mesa Airlines is scheduled to start flying in the islands in June, with prices starting at $39. Both Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines later matched Mesa's prices.

"The competitiveness of airlines is driving the prices down, or at a constant level, so we don't think we'll see an immediate spike from the rising cost of fuel," said AhMoo.

Travel agents are confident you can still go on that perfect vacation, and get a good deal.

They say the only way people won't go is if they're putting too money down the tank.

"Instead of paying, say normally $30 a tank, they're paying $60-70," said Ching. "The extra money is what was budgeted for travel or vacation. If they don't have the money, they won't travel."

Some tips agents offered: book early to ensure you get a good price.

And shop around. Check with full service travel agents. They buy large sections of seats from airlines, and can still offer them at discounted rates.