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Think holiday airfares are high? Wait till you see March and April fares

What to do about brutally high spring break airfares
Atlanta Airport
Posted at 3:00 AM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 07:11:19-04

We've been hearing a lot about high holiday travel costs this year, as people who haven't flown for over two years snap up plane tickets to see family, increasing demand and sending airfares higher.

But if you haven't looked at spring airfares yet, you may also be in for a case of sticker shock.

College golfer Andy Culley doesn't know how many courses he'll be able to play this coming spring, due to soaring airfares.

"It's outrageous, outrageous," he said, "My ticket was over a 100 percent increase."

Record high spring fares

Families everywhere are finding airfares at record highs, as they search for springtime flights.

Earlier this week, we found flights from Denver to Tampa in April for more than $600 roundtrip on United.

Fares from other cities are even higher: we found Detroit to West Palm Beach costing more than $700 on Delta.

The only fares in the $400 range were on deep discounters like Allegiant and Spirit.

Kim Boey says her flight to Austin, Texas that used to cost $250 is now almost double.

"Each ticket was over $400," she said, "I think it was $460."

Spring travelers are finding price increases all around right now.

You will have to deal with high hotel prices, high rental car rates, and sky-high airfares, that are back to pre-pandemic levels or even higher.

Scott Keyes -- founder of Scott's Cheap Flights -- blames soaring demand from pent-up travelers, combined with fewer flights due to staffing shortages.

"Airfare has gone up quite a bit the past 12 months," he said, " in part because travel has re-normalized."

What you can do

If you are hoping for a bargain flight, Keyes says to avoid spring break weeks in March and April, and book for May or summer instead.

"Book opposite season," he said. "Think when you are opening your Christmas presents, that is when you should be booking your summer flights."

If you must travel during peak spring break time in April he suggests going to less popular destinations.

"It might actually cost the same to get a flight to Paris as it costs to get a flight to Panama City in Florida in March," he said.

Keyes also suggests you try fare comparison websites like his, Google Flights, or Kayak, where you see all airlines at once.

Also, he says, look at alternate cities that may be cheaper.

For instance, search "all airports" if you are searching for a flight to New York City, not just JFK or Newark.

Lynn Jobe, visiting with her two granddaughters from Atlanta, says she's going to find cheaper seasons to see them in the future.

"It's hard on the wallet," she said.

So try to fly when everyone else isn't flying, so don't waste your money.

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