Friday evening I was checking out the air fare for the planned China trip later this year. And I found aa.com price irresistible: $1000 from STL to PVG. So I jumped on it. With sky high gas price (and jet fuel), this price seems cheap to me. I remember last year I paid close to $1100 for similar air ticket.
So why is the price relatively cheaper? I think one reason is AA needs cash (unearned revenue in this case) badly. Another less likely reason is AA thinks oil price will go down. Separately, I read from news the airline executives wrote an open letter to ask congress to clamp down on the oil speculators, because according to the airlines “oil speculators drove up the oil price”. I see two problems in this argument: 1) Airlines also hedge their jet fuel positions, i.e., they are speculators too; 2) Speculators can cause short term price volatility, but in longer term, it’s the supply and demand determine the price. It seems the airlines executives forgot the Econ 101 here 🙂
Odds and Ends
Here in St. Louis, some churchs are organizing prayers for “lower oil price”. Reminds me in ancient China the farmers praying for “good weather/havest season”. In modern days I have seen people praying for “stock prices going up”.
As much as I respect people’s sincererity on prayers, I really doubt the effectiveness. Current oil crisis, like many other economy or financial crisis, is largely man made disaster. For one, the US dependency on oil was created in last century, along with automobiles, highways and suburban living. Now this life style is exporting to China and India, which has a far bigger population. Our planet was not designed to handle that demand. Until we found real alternative(s) to the sweet crude (or black gold), we have to pay whatever the market charges.
Innovative energy tips
I also heard from news, the state of Utah is doing 4 days (10 hours) work week, saving the commuters gas and goverment building utility bills. Similarly, goverment in Houston is turning thermostat from 72 F to 78 F (for reference, yours truely has set it to 80 F for a long time). I also heard police in some places charging gas surcharge for speeding motorist.
Did I mention the ways to make car more efficient: engine tune up, check tire pressure, less A/C, proper speed, etc. Or better yet, take the bus or car pool if it’s possible.