Airfares Out of DFW Climb Higher

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The cost of summer travel is rising like a 737 at takeoff.

    Time to pack a bag -- summer's almost here, and that dream vacation is waiting.

    There's only one hitch: The cost of getting there is climbing like a 737 at takeoff.

    Summer Air Travel Prices on the Rise

    [DFW] Summer Air Travel Prices on the Rise
    The cost of summer travel is rising like a 737 at takeoff.

    Prices on two of the most popular routes out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport are up more than 50 percent, according to an analysis by airfare expert Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com. 

    "Last year was a fire sale," Seaney said. "This year, the embers are starting to cool off a little bit."

    Let's say you bought on March 21 a nonstop ticket from DFW Airport to Las Vegas for travel in June. If you did, you would have paid an average of 63 percent more than if you bought on the same day last year. In 2009, that ticket cost an average of $240. But this year, it was an average of $390 on American and US Airways, the two carriers offering those nonstop flights from DFW.

    Heading to Disney World with the kids this summer? Last year, a DFW to Orlando nonstop ticket cost $180 if purchased on March 21 for travel in June. This year, it's up to $275, a 53 percent increase, according to the FareCompare analysis. American and AirTran are the two carriers with DFW non-stops on that route.

    Since last summer, the airlines have cut back on flights, and more passengers are starting to fill a smaller number of seats, pushing prices up. And on top of higher ticket prices, baggage fees implemented since spring of 2008 often add 10 percent or more to the total cost of the trip.

    But there are ways to save.

    Seaney said it will pay to shop early this summer. 

    "Everybody who's out there, (if it's) a couple of weeks before your trip and you think you're going to get a good deal, forget about it this year," he said.

    It also pays to take a flight that has a connection. The $275 price to Orlando drops down to an average of $180 if you take a flight with a connection. That $180 price is only a 6 percent increase over last year, when the same ticket cost an average of $170.

    Seaney also said shopping on Tuesdays can pay off. Airlines are launching more short-term sales that start Tuesday morning and end on Thursday.

    Traveling on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday can still bring down the price of a ticket. And watch out for a growing list of days when airlines are adding "busy day" travel surcharges of $10 to $20.

    And if that doesn't work, there's another phrase that may pay off: Road trip!