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Students can expect a cramped, expensive flight home for the holidays

Staff November 16, 2012 News No Comments

By Margaux Erilane
Transcript Correspondent

With turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, biscuits, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, family, friends and pie just around the corner, how could anyone not be jumping for joy at the prospects of the upcoming holiday season?

The excitement could be put on hold for those planning to fly home.

It’s not news that the days before and after Thanksgiving are the most travelled days of the year.

But according to Airlines for America, 150,000 more people are expected to travel by air this Thanksgiving than did in 2011.

So you can say goodbye to the possibility of having an empty seat next to you. And good luck finding room in the overhead compartments for your carry-on.

With nearly 24 million passengers, A4A projects flights will be 90 percent full on top travel days (Wednesday, Nov. 21, Sunday, Nov. 25 and Monday, Nov. 26.)

Sophomore Ashkan Ekhtera said he lamented the news that his flight back to Chicago is likely be full.

“I’m 6’2” and I already feel cramped on planes,” he said.

“If my flight is full and I can’t spread out and get comfortable, I’ll be very grumpy when I get off the plane.”

Space isn’t the only thing there will be less of. Ticket prices have also increased due to rising jet fuel prices.

Ekhtera said his flight was $420 – more than he’s ever paid for a flight home before.

A4A stated that despite the 5.6 percent increase in traveler revenue, fuel prices have risen 6.2 percent.

This leads to only a 0.2 percent profit margin (approximately 50 cents per passenger), hence the increased prices.

Sophomore Mike Serbanoiu, a native of New York, said he won’t be flying home this Thanksgiving break.

“I’m really lucky that I live close enough to drive home because a round trip ticket to JFK costs about $500 right now,” Serbanoiu said.

Although today’s prices appear high to consumers, A4A said, with inflation, airfare is actually 16 percent cheaper this year than it was in 2000.

Ekhtera said he hates dealing with all the airline hastle when trying to go home for holidays.

“I kind of wish I could just teleport home,” Ekhtera said. “That way I could avoid the lack of space and the cost.”

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