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Getting there by air may cost more


If you plan to travel by plane for your summer vacation, you might want to buy your tickets in the middle of the week.

Tuesday afternoons are typically the best time to shop for and buy summer airfare, according to industry experts. Airfare sales are often announced Tuesday mornings.
But don't expect to get the same low fares that were around in 2009.

Depending on the route, airfares are up by 7 to 10 percent as several carriers have added "peak travel day" surcharges of $10 per flight.

"There is a lot of pent-up demand," said Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com. "People didn't take their one or two trips last year, and this year, they're going to take their trip."

Travelocity, the Southlake, Tex.-based online travel service, said the average domestic airfare this summer is around $360, up 9 percent from summer 2009. Airfares to international destinations are up 10 percent to an average of $806 compared with $730 in 2009.

"We're definitely seeing higher fares than last summer," said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. "The economy is better, business travelers are coming back and capacity has been cut."

For example, the average price of a flight to Europe was about $600 last summer but is about $1,000 this summer. Coast-to-coast flights in the U.S. could be found for as little as $69 one way in 2009, but now consumers will be lucky if they find a $99 one-way fare.

Industry experts say airfares are still relatively low this year -- it's just that 2009 summer airfares were the lowest in a decade.

-- Andrea Ahles
McClatchy Newspapers

By Michael Bolden  |  April 13, 2010; 2:44 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Airports , Getaway  
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