Pump Prices Not Stopping Everyone's Spring Break

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9


What NewsWest 9 saw at Midland International Airport and at the gas pumps weren't empty lines but teeming travelers.

West Texans heading out on their Spring Break vacations didn't look deterred at all, despite gas prices creeping higher and higher and rising oil prices reportedly causing airfare go up.

"I've heard some other airlines a couple weeks ago have gone up in their prices because of the fuel but we have not done that yet," Karen Esterly, Ops/Cargo Supervisor for Southwest Airlines, said.

Esterly told NewsWest 9, air travel is busy as ever because most Midlanders flying out had their trips booked as far as six months ago.

And as far as the oil prices rising, she said they haven't felt the pinch yet.

"We've been booked for the last two days," Esterly said. "Every seat's been sold out. We're not seeing any effect or I don't think it's affecting us on our flights this day and time for Spring Break."

While some West Texans will still have to work through the break, others' vacations are still on.

So much so that local travel agencies haven't seen any decline in business.

They said West Texans are trying to save money while they go but are still going.

"In a cruise, they might not go in a balcony, they might go in the low category," Wendy Brumbelow, Owner of Any Seasons Travel, said.. "They're adjusting a little bit by doing that. Still going but still trying to save money, still be able to get on the trip, looking at different options."

Brumbelow attributes the steady trend to the oil and gas business here in the Basin.

Even though oil and gas prices may be rising, that means booms for the many oil and gas workers, creating a bubble in the Basin against travel cutbacks.

"We've got stuff on the books for next year, so people are optimistic," Brumbelow said. "If they work like all of us, we all need a vacation so we do what we can."

The negative trends that travel agents did inform NewsWest 9 of is that they've hardly received any desire from travelers to go to Mexico because of the news reports of violence there. They also said that they aren't sure if this steady trend will continue.

They're still waiting to see how further unrest in the Middle East and how the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan will affect the rest of the world.