Travelers urged not to delay booking flights as prices soar

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – After two years, there’s an itch for a big getaway.

“I have more people traveling this summer and fall than ever before,” said Adriann Songster, owner of travel agency A to B.

For people still percolating at the thought of a vacation, it might not be worth the wait.

“The sooner the better, honestly if they’re thinking about this summer, anytime in June, July, August, you’ll want to get them two months ago. You’ll want to get them as soon as possible,” said AAA travel agent Matt Bert “If you have Thanksgiving or Christmas plans, I would definitely go ahead and book them now.”

Airline ticket prices are skyrocketing this year, and fuel prices are one cause, but not the only one.

“Changing daily, I think that’s the most important thing for people to realize, because people are getting more comfortable traveling, as airlines open up and then on the same side, closing routes, it changes all the time,” Songster said. “I was quoting a plane ticket today for the Dominican, and in three hours he had changed with a swing of $400.”

Travel website Hopper said the price of round-trip domestic flights had risen 40% since the start of the year, with an average price in March of $330. It is expected to rise another 10% by May.

At AAA Travel, they have seen rising prices affect some of this recent demand.

“Since the fuel went up there’s been kind of a lull, but I think people are going to say I haven’t taken a vacation in two years. I want to take a vacation,” Bert said.

With many people looking for deals, travel agents said they had the knowledge and know-how to help travelers get the most out of their trip.

Bert said: “We know when to go when to avoid. Maybe even go to a different airport that you might not have thought of and that we know has flights going to it.

Agents said if travelers had flexibility on the days of their trip, it could also help save money.

“Find not only the best payment offers, but also the best benefits. Who has the best insurance plan because it’s a huge thing right now,” Songster said. “Everyone wants to be comfortable. Travel is a lot of money, so spend that money and know your investment is protected.

They said agents can also help people navigate remaining COVID-19 restrictions for international travel.

“They don’t want to stay home any longer than they already are, so people are going to find a way to take that vacation if they really want to,” Bert said.

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