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Travelers facing higher airfare ahead of summer flights

Domestic airfares currently average $396, up 46 percent from this time last year.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 8:41 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - If you’ve checked the cost of a flight lately, you know fares are currently up compared to a few months ago and this time last year.

“Cost increases are sometimes catching people a little bit by surprise,” Court Travel Ltd. president and owner Nancy Cutter said.

For people traveling, it’s not just pain at the pump, it’s also pain when it comes to booking your next flight, both domestic and abroad.

“It’s frustrating because it’s not like our paychecks are going up to make up for that,” traveler Nicole Angtuaco said.

“Trying to find the best deal, oh my God, it’s been killer,” another traveler, Derrick Lane, added.

According to Hopper, a travel website, domestic airfares currently average $396, up 46 percent from this time last year, and international airfares currently average $923, up 21 percent from this time last year.

“It’s crazy, I’ve actually been going online every single day looking for tickets to go out to Denver in August to celebrate my 40th birthday,” Angtuaco said.

To get there and back, Angtuaco is looking at close to $1,200.

“It’s insane, I’ve never paid anything close to that, normally I won’t pay over $400 at most, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet,” she said.

As travelers deal with high prices, some are looking to travel agencies for help.

“We’ve seen a huge demand for travel request during the past, probably 8 to 10 weeks,” Cutter said.

Court Travel Limited is telling people to book their trip as far out as possible.

“The idea that you could hop on a plane at the last minute and use some empty seats, that’s not working, the airplanes are all full,” Cutter said.

With higher travel prices, Cutter is advising people to get a travel agent to help with planning a trip that fits your budget. She also recommends travel insurance to protect what you’re spending.

“I think we’ve come to terms with the fact that we are going to be paying much higher prices to do some of the things that we want to do,” Angtuaco said.

“[I] try to book my ticket out as far in advance to make sure I get the best price and just pray for the best,” Lane added.

According to Hopper’s Summer Travel Guide, air travel will continue to rise through June – peaking above the $400 mark.

Travelers are hoping prices start to drop off during the fall.

Related: American Airlines no longer enforcing mask mandates at U.S. airports

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