Travelers start to take advantage of the price at the pump - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Travelers start to take advantage of the price at the pump

 MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- Travel experts noticed a spike in business because of the approaching holidays and travelers are begin to question whether flying is the best way of travel. 

Traveler experts say its a 50/50 shot whether people choose to travel by car or plane. They say the decision is usually based on two things: weather and gas prices.

Andy Leonard, a travel sales specialist with AAA, says travelers begin to plan for holidays at this time of year because of the approaching holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

He believes the recent drop in gas prices, could change peoples' travel methods.

"Gas prices dictate a lot, so this year we may see a strong trend in more people deciding to travel by car versus by air."

Leonard explained, at this time, he has no reason to believe gas prices will rise and some travelers are taking notice but said that doesn't necessarily mean it will translate over to airfare. 

Professor of Management, and Law Dr. Henry Lowenstein explained airline pricing is based on three things. The first being fuel costs, he explained no matter how low the prices drop, many airlines are contracted into fuel bin prices and until those contracts are up, they would not see a change in price. 

Other factors Lowenstein mentioned were labor costs and demand. 

Andy Leonard says demand rises during the holiday seasons and boils the rising cost of airfare into two things. Airline Mergers, meaning fewer flights are going out in general and the fact that most people tend to be last minute planners. 

"You have less seats available. You have a lot of people that are wanting to travel, so prices tend to go up.recommendation is to book early. The earlier you can book your holiday travel flights, the better the price you're going to get," Leonard explained.

However, when it comes to driving, some are starting to see a substantial difference in price at the pump. 

"I paid $2.81, when I left New York, I was paying $3.28 to $3.35," Joe Moraski explained. 

Joe Moraski noticed the cheap prices as soon as he got here.

"When you're the guy that's driving, you notice it right away. I'm like wow, I can do a little more driving now," Moraski  came into AAA today looking for a more scenic route to take after his GPS kept telling him to take Interstate 95 up to New York.

"Since gas is cheaper, if I got to go 50 miles out of my way, it doesn't really matter that much, it's easier for me," Moraski explained.

Carolyn Moynihan and Faye Boles are adding the finishing touches to their vacation plans. 

They are headed to Disney with two other friends, but they won't be flying there.

"We decided the money we would have had spent on that, we could afford to go to Disney, Universal, play golf and everything else and with the gas prices it was just more economical,"Moynihan said.

Another reason both parties chose to drive is the cost of bags. 

"We're taking our golf clubs, and obviously we're women, so we're taking our luggage, and to fly was quite expensive,"Moynihan said.

Leonard believes if prices continue to drop here at the pump, more people may start adding a road trip to their travel plans and the demand for flights may drop. 

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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