Rising gas prices felt beyond the pumps

by Brooke Hart
NBC News

It's been a steady uptick at the pump.

The latest Lundberg survey shows gas prices up $0.13 a gallon in the last two weeks and a gallon $0.68 from a year ago.

In this busy travel week it's helping push some to the rails.

"We would much rather take the train than drive," said train passenger, Bliss Cartwright.

Businesses are feeling the pinch as well.

Fed Ex says fuel prices are cutting into profits.

Carnival Cruises will soon charge extra to cover it, five dollars a person per day, and commercial airlines told congress no-shows hurt more than ever.

"The airplane is going to fly with an empty seat at ninety dollar oil, or 70 dollar oil. We can't afford as a business to not have people not show up, so we overbook," says Delta Airlines CEO, Richard Anderson.

Over the weekend, OPEC members complained about something else; a U.S. dollar they called worthless.

The weak dollar means it takes more money to buy the same oil.

Their comments in turn pushed crude prices up another dollar a barrel.

Retailers worry about fuel pressure on Friday, a big day at the malls.

What shoppers spend on gas, they can't spend elsewhere.

"I'm tightening a little bit, thinking twice about what I buy, and how much I buy," says one holiday shopper.

Workers at a best buy in Bel Air, Maryland practiced for Black Friday; perfect customer service is their goal.

As retailers compete for spending money now disappearing faster at the pump.