In brief: Another fare hike for transatlantic flights
Transatlantic passengers to see another fare increase, the UK's tourism future faces uncertainty, American passengers' use of travel agents is on the rise, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
EU's cap-and-trade program will result in fare increases of more than $50
Increased fares on transatlantic air travel have already forced some US travellers to remain stateside this summer. Soon, American fliers will face another rise in prices when flying across the Atlantic. Beginning 1 January, 2012, passengers travelling to Europe will have to pay estimated fare increases of more than $50 to cover the EU's new cap-and-trade program, which is intended to reduce carbon emissions, the Washington Times reports.
After record number of international visitors, future of tourism to the UK in question
A record 2.89m international travellers visited the UK in June, up 4% from the previous record high in June 2005, the Guardian reports. But it remains to be seen how the looming financial crisis and the recent riots will affect tourism. Several countries, including the US, have issued warnings to avoid areas of civil unrest. Iran has warned its citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to the UK. Meanwhile, officials have suspended an advertising campaign by Visit Britain with the tag line "You're Invited", deeming it inappropriate considering recent events.
More US Citizens using travel agents to book flights
Contrary to popular belief, the travel-agent industry is far from dead. While travel agents have had it rough in recent years, business seems to be on the rise. US-based travel agencies sold $50.5 billion in tickets between January and July 2011, a 6.36% year-over-year increase from the same period last year, and a 28% increase over the same period in 2009, PRNewswire reports.
"$9.29 per gallon is an enormous amount of money to pay for gas – that’s well over twice the national average of $3.71 per gallon, but it’s what I’ll pay Hertz if I forget to fill up my rental car when I return it to Las Vegas’s airport at the end of the week."
Forbes broke down the economics of why car rental companies can charge such astronomical prices for gas if customers forget to refill the tank before returning the car. Among the reasons are consumer difficulty in comparing car-return gas prices, business travellers — the most frequent renters — being unlikely to worry about the cost while their businesses foot the bills, and real costs, such as maintaining a special area for refuelling, can be high when paying pricey rent at airports.
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
-@gadling. Travel blogger Paul Brady' journeyed on the "American Road" this summer, taking the pulse of America while blogging for Gadling along the way.