If you are planning to travel this holiday season plan to pay more.Â Airfare is expected to have an increase of ticket prices anywhere between 7% to 18% compared to last year.
Travelers can also expect longer lines and more crowded flights.Â According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, airlines are at a 10 year high of packing the planes.Â Nation's top carriers are recording 86.3% of all seats filled.
Approximately 41 million Americans are expected to fly during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, the busiest travel time of the year.
"I expect prices to be quite high compared to the last couple years, as demand is strong and supply is weak," said Rick Seaney, chief executive of the travel website FareCompare.
Last year people were able to take advantage of bargains when airlines dropped prices to entice travel.
This year the demand has picked up and, as a result, the prices are going to rise.
Some tips for cheap tickets?Â Look for last-minute discounts to fill empty seats.Â Travel during off-peak hours or
try to travel a few days before or after the holiday.
According to the Los Angeles Times,
"The higher prices signal bad news for travelers but more good news for the airline industry, which has only recently begun to show signs of recovering from the slump in demand after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and during the global recession.
The U.S. commercial airline industry lost an estimated $58 billion in net income from 2001 to 2009, according to the Air Transport Assn., a trade group for the nation's largest airlines.
But times seem to be improving for airlines. The industry reported last month that passenger revenue rose 17% in August, marking the eighth consecutive month of growth."
Are you traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas?Â Do you do any bargain hunting for your tickets or are you waiting for the last minute?
PhotoCredit: Wikimedia Commons.