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Fall travel outlook optimistic as gas prices drop below $4

Gas prices are the lowest they've been in the last few months, but many are wondering if that trend will continue.

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Drivers are seeing relief at the pump. 

Well, a little bit, as gas prices fall to the lowest they’ve been in the last several months.

“That’s the good news, but the even better news is the decline should continue," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "Prices could head into the low to mid $3.00 range by the end of the year.”

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gas in Harrisburg has fallen .13 cents in the past week.

Pennsylvania’s average has also dropped .13 cents, falling to $3.99 a gallon.

“There could always be out of left-field events, like shake-ups geopolitically or refinery issues that aren’t tied to a hurricane, but right now it looks like we have pretty good odds [that] gas prices will continue to moderate in the weeks ahead," said De Haan.

The decline in fuel prices has the aviation industry hopeful terminal traffic will remain steady through the next several weeks.

“Now gas prices are coming down some, hopefully, that will help airfares come down a bit and people will continue to book," said Scott Miller, spokesperson for Harrisburg International Airport.

Miller said there are other factors that play into ticket prices, such as demand.

“What that means is if you have a flight with 100 seats on it, when it’s empty the fare is going to be relatively low if you’re close to departure," he explained. "If the flight is filling up quickly, the fare is going to go up.”

De Haan said one thing that could throw a wrench in things is hurricane season.

“If we see a major hurricane that shuts down refineries in Louisiana or Texas, that could cause a major impact on prices nationally," he explained.

While they are expected to keep falling, De Haan said the war in Ukraine will keep fuel prices from returning to what many Americans consider “normal.”

“Russia is one of the largest oil producers. The sanctions on Russia as a result of their war on Ukraine likely will continue until there’s some sort of resolution there," he said.

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