With recent oil prices reaching record highs, the airlines' trade group projects the 2008 jet fuel bill will be 44% higher than last year's. Airline executives say that only major capacity cuts and higher fares will allow them to cover the higher cost of jet fuel. If airlines cut service as much as some industry analysts have indicated is necessary, passengers will see fewer daily flights to many cities, more crowded planes and more inconvenience overall. Many warn that higher fares and reduced service could have a devastating ripple effect on local economies. Industry experts say travelers can expect to see big schedule and operational changes as early as this fall.

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