Airlines are gearing up for a busier — and costlier — holiday season as fuel prices rise


A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 (LN2318) on final-approach after a pre-delivery test flight at dusk. | Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Demand for air travel is on the rise ahead of the holidays. So are the costs.

Jet fuel hasn’t been this expensive since 2014. Airlines also racing to hire thousands of employees to meet growing demand: pilots, flight attendants, reservations agents, baggage handlers and many others, competing in a tight labor market that would have seemed impossible in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

And, airlines have run through much of the $54 billion in government payroll aid that helped cover their labor bills during the…


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