Airfare tickets for the December holidays are expected to begin making a sharp increase in pricing this week, according to the travel website Hipmunk.com.
Experts with the website, citing a survey of its own travel pricing database, said prices often begin to make a steady rise upward following Veterans Day. Average ticket prices for next month's holidays could rise from an average of roughly $500 currently to between $650 and $775 by mid-December.
"Six hundred dollars, for a lot of people that's a lot of money," said Chris Dyonda, a traveler at Tampa International Airport.
"We usually do last-minute [flights] all the time just depending what the best prices are, so that's terrifying," said Lisa Gargiulo, who was flying from TIA on Sunday back to her home in New Jersey.
Several passengers were stunned to hear flight prices are expected to increase by more than 50 percent in some cases.
"You don't have many choices if you need to get somewhere, so you're kind of stuck, but you just have to budget," said Shannon Harris, who hadn't yet booked his flight to Tampa for Christmas. "I'll be traveling with my girlfriend, so that would be a lot of money, but what can you do?"
One traveler said he has a simple solution: avoid flying all together.
"I'd rather drive," said Frank Del Percio. "Just get in my car and pay the cost with the fuel because it's more predictable."
AAA released several tips on how to save on holiday-travel airfare:
- Shop for lights on Mondays or Tuesdays.
- Delete computer cookies while shopping for flights online.
- Get quotes from regional airports.
- Avoid traveling on busiest days, leaving on such lesser-traveled days as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day can often be a cost-saver.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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