More flying this summer, says airline group

Airlines For America says flying will increase this summer to the highest level in six years.

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WICHITA, Kan. -- More passengers are expected in U.S. airports this summer predicts Airlines For America, the industry trade organization for leading U.S. airlines.

The group predicts a 1.5% increase in passengers this summer over last year bringing levels to a six year high.

The group predicts a record number of passengers traveling internationally on U.S. carriers.

"Air travel should be a little bit more demanding this year for the infrequent traveler," says Wichita State University Associate Professor Dean Headley. Headley is co-author of the annual Airline Quality Rating.

Headley says airlines continue reducing capacity even while the number of passengers increases. "They have the same number of people flying in fewer airplanes. Well, that makes their airplanes more full."

He says airlines are doing that to increase profits. But he says the infrequent fliers about to go on a summer vacation need to know their plane will be full and the airports busier.

He says it also means airlines will be charging more.

Headley says, "It's not unusual that airlines would want to charge the most when most people are flying. And so I think people will see higher prices."

He says the summer months of June, July and August are typically busier because of the leisure travelers.

But he reminds those who haven't flown in a while to be prepared to pay for extras above their base ticket price.

"You can just about bet that you can add about 20% to that to get your final price." He says extra baggage fees, preferred seating, preferred boarding are just some of the extra fees one has to be ready to consider when flying.


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