Oil Prices Fuel More Spikes in Air Fares

Justin Shim
Justin Shim
Angela Pedro
Angela Pedro
Hoyt Zia
Hoyt Zia

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Exploding oil prices are really starting to hammer down on travelers. On Friday, the state's largest airline announced yet another price hike.

Starting on Monday, Hawaiian Airlines will raise fuel surcharges by $20 each way on transpacific service to the mainland, Pago Pago, and Papeete.

it doesn't stop there. a representative says as long as fuel prices continue to go up, so will air fares.

With prices soaring out of control, travelers say skyrocketing airfares are keeping them more grounded.

"We don't know about anymore trips for a while. We usually try once a year but it might be once every four years now. Just have to save money," said Alewa Heights resident Justin Shim.

"My mom was supposed to come and she couldn't so she's going to stay until September so we can save more money for her to come," said Angela Pedro of Honolulu.

For inter-island travelers, flying on the state's largest airline is hurting more pocketbooks.

"Fares will continue to go up as costs go up and that's just elementary in business," said Hoyt Zia with Hawaiian Airlines.

Just last week, Hawaiian Airlines kicked off a list of price hikes:

Island-hopping fares - up $10 each way.

Book by phone - $5 more each way.

Flights from Oahu to the Big Island - an additional $5 since they're longer flights.

During a forum between airline industry leaders and Hawaii's business community, Hawaiian reported it underestimated fuel costs.

"About $169 million dollars more than what we had budgeted for and more than what we had spent in 2007," said Zia.

"Today's trend is higher prices but you figure, Hawaiian Airlines, come on, support us Hawaiians," said Shim.

With no signs of relief at the pump, travelers say they're now thinking twice before packing their bags.

Mesa's go! Airlines also raised it's fuel surcharge a couple weeks ago by $10 each way. That puts inter-island fares between $64 to $109 each way.