Top 5 Reasons Travel to Europe will be More Expensive in 2012

Flyers can expect higher prices to Europe this coming summer. That, of course, is the most popular travel period but watch out for 2012 when airline tickets to Europe are expected to get pricier than usual.

In fact, some travel organizations are telling their customers to start booking summer trips to Europe now and here’s why:

Summer 2012: Top Reasons Travel to Europe will Cost More

1. Reduced Seat Capacity

This is the big one: According to several news reports, TravelCorp USA is forecasting a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in seats on international flights to Europe. At the same time, demand is rising. Surveys conducted by AAA indicate sales for the second quarter of the year (April, May, June) are running more than 20 percent higher than for the same period during 2011. Here are the most popular cities (in alphabetical order):

  • Amsterdam
  • Dublin
  • London
  • Paris
  • Rome

Combine rising demand with airline capacity cuts, and there isn’t much incentive to discount which is bad news for bargain shoppers.

2. Olympics in London

Expect heavy crowds to descend on London this summer for its first Olympics in 64 years. Early shoppers may have gotten the best prices, but there are still ways to score decent deals to the Olympics. However, shop early since this will be an even more popular destination than usual. The Games get underway in London in late July.

3. EU Emissions Plan

The European Union’s plan (or “scheme” as they refer to it) to curb carbon emissions has run into a buzz saw of opposition from some international carriers including some in the U.S., although it could result in passengers who wind up paying for this via higher airfare prices. The complicated scenario, which already involves numerous international challenges, could result in a “modest” boost in airline ticket prices of $8 or more. A story to keep your eye on (as Bloomberg has been doing).

4. Rising Oil Prices

The latest from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows jet fuel prices rising slowly but steadily over the next couple of decades. Another cost that is ultimately passed on to the passenger.

5. Possible New Flight Tax and Higher TSA Fee

The Administration has proposed new taxes and fees to help reduce the deficit that could hit the pocketbooks of airlines and passengers in 2012. One proposal calls for a $100-per-flight fee directed at the airlines (but ultimately paid by passengers via increased ticket prices). Another is a bump in the security fee which is part of the taxes and fees already added to airline tickets. The airlines don’t like this (and neither do plenty of passengers), though it remains to be seen if will become a reality.

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Published: November 7, 2011