by: Joe Moeller
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many people are changing their travel plans due to increasing gas prices, and some are even changing their planned trips to avoid expensive flights to Las Vegas.
Like many others, Tom de Martini comes to Las Vegas every year, but said he’ll be staying on the East coast this spring due to increasing travel costs.
“What we usually do is, we go to The Orleans,” said de Martini, a Pennsylvania resident. “We make it a 10-day trip.”
Although he said he’s always looked forward to his yearly trip to Las Vegas, the flight costs and gas he would need to fill his rental car made the trip too expensive.
“The $300 roundtrip on Southwest Airlines is now up to $655, the rental car for the week from Budget rental car is $500,” he said. “I am very disappointed, it’s something I look forward to every year — we’re talking going in May and September to Atlantic City and foregoing this trip just because of the expense.”
De Martini said that he thinks he won’t be the only person changing or canceling their vacation plans.
“I even think about the folks coming from Los Angeles, you’re looking at $6 or $7 gas already,” he told 8 News Now.
Travel expert Abby Lagman said that during the recession a decade ago, she also saw flight surcharges because of fuel prices at the time.
“Those surcharges were because fuel prices at the time were skyrocketing,” Lagman said.
She suggested that those looking to book a flight should do so as soon as possible, because the increase in flight prices could go up further at any time.
Despite the increase in prices, AAA expects Las Vegas to be one of the nation’s top destinations for spring travel, although people are also expected to adjust their budgets to factor in higher gas prices, leading to lower amounts of vacation spending.