Sometimes, you must fly abroad

Airplane snack


Stacey Vanek-Smith: Oil is down around $112 a barrel today. Tropical storm Fay avoided major production areas in the Gulf of Mexico. That is of course good news for many industries, including airlines. They've been squeezed by high fuel costs, and they've passed the buck on to us. And as Nancy Marshall Genzer reports, that's affecting how we travel.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: The Air Transport Association of America says domestic air travel this Labor Day weekend will drop about 6 percent from last year. But international travel is expected to inch up 1 percent. Part of the reason? Logistics.

Richard Gritta: You can't drive a car or take a train to Europe.

University of Portland business professor Richard Gritta says most business travelers can't afford to bypass international travel.

Gritta: In the Far East, face-to-face negotiation is -- there's no substitute for that.

Long, uninterrupted flights actually cost airlines less than puddle-jumping, says Air Transport Association spokesman David Castelveter.

David Castelveter: You spend most of your fuel on take-off and landing.

And so airlines are passing some savings onto international travelers. And best of all: they still get free pretzels.

I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.


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