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Expect A Price Hike For Summer Airfare

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The pumps aren't the only place you can expect to pay more this summer. On average nationwide, airfare is up about 10 percent compared to this time last year. And some markets could end up being double the price by summer.

Gayle Brumfield says airfare to Alaska is anything but fair. She flew from Minneapolis to Fairbanks to visit her son, but had to re-book three times. And every time it cost about $700 more.

"It's ridiculous. And then they get after you for bringing bags on and it takes so long boarding," said Brumfield.

With travel costs up as much as 10 percent already, finding a deal this summer may be hard to do. That's why travel experts say you should consider more affordable destinations. Looking for a sunny domestic destination rather than international may be an obvious tip.

What may not be as obvious, however, is the fact that there are some days that are cheaper to fly than others.

Experts say mid-week is a great time not just to book a flight to save a few bucks, but also because the airlines aren't quite as busy. Southwest is one airline that offers sales Tuesday through Thursday, but they take-off fast.

"We changed our days, too. We went middle of the week to middle of the week. Typically, we would travel over the weekend," said Rich Peller of Mankato.

A lot of travel agents say if you are planning a flight in June you should "book now." Crude oil prices dictate gas prices and airline fuel. They will all go up by Memorial Day. Take it from one Australian whose already worried about what future business trips from Melbourne to Minneapolis are going to cost.

"There's plenty of taxes and plenty of fuel surcharges, so the price you see isn't always the price you end up paying," said Wilde.

It's not just rising fuel costs that will drive airfare up. AAA says lot of airlines have cut back on flights and reduced their fleets. That also makes it much harder to find a reasonable, last-minute ticket.

Travel experts also advise signing up for e-mail alerts from airlines on when they are offering deals.

Following airlines on Twitter can also give you a heads-up on when they are offering a special.

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