Many U.S. and international airlines have trimmed fuel surcharges they tack on flights between the United States and Europe, according to people who track air fares.
The reductions range up to $100 for a round trip, but fuel surcharges are still higher than they were in the summer of 2007, when airlines began raising them sharply to cope with higher costs for jet fuel.
Tom Parsons, chief executive of discount travel Web site Bestfares.com, said Thursday that in the past week Delta Air Lines Inc. and Air France cut their fuel surcharges between London and many U.S. cities to $238 per round trip, down from $366. Fuel surcharges to many cities in continental Europe are even lower, he said.
Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, said the reductions gained speed after British Airways PLC and Virgin Atlantic Airways cut their surcharges this week because of the falling price of oil.
"The world of trans-Atlantic travel has gotten a lot cheaper," he said.
Jet fuel prices rose in late 2007 and the first half of 2008, reaching record levels in early July. Since then, prices have collapsed, following the nosedive in the price of oil, which has fallen by about two-thirds.
Still, fuel surcharges to Europe are 70 percent to 80 percent higher than a year ago, according to Parsons.
"We still believe there is a lot of wiggle room left for the major international airlines to reduce their fuel surcharges even more," said Parsons, who advised travelers to wait before booking tickets for spring travel to Europe.