Crude breaks $115 mark; airlines also hit hard by fuel costs

| 4/17/2008

Crude oil prices broke the record-setting $115-a-barrel mark on Wednesday before subsiding a bit.

And the high prices of oil and fuel aren’t hammering just truckers and motorists. The airlines are hurting, too.

The Wall Street Journal reported that airlines have seen a 53 percent surge in the cost of aviation fuel during the past year.

On Thursday Continental said it had posted a first-quarter loss, and Southwest said profit fell 63 percent during the same period.

Airlines are now trying to cut costs by parking less fuel-efficient planes and charging for items such as checked bags, food and on-board TV service. Some are even charging extra for window seats that are near the front of the plane.