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Charlotte travelers re-evaluating plans as airline tickets continue to rise

Airfare prices are projected to rise through the month of May.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you have plans to book a flight this summer, your wallet is going to take a major hit.

Airfare prices are projected to rise through the month of May.

Travel app Hopper says the cost for domestic flights is up 40% from the beginning of the year. By the end of May, they’re expected to go up 10% more.

High airline ticket costs are causing some people to change or cancel travel plans they’ve had for months.

"We really wanted to do a family trip out to Ireland in June, so next month, but because of the increase in plane ticket prices, you know, my family of three just wasn't able to go," said Hannah Virga, while waiting for her aunt at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. "I mean, a couple of hundred dollars a ticket is the equivalent of like being able to go and not being able to go." 

Virga isn’t the only person experiencing this.

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In the next six months, Hopper expects an average ticket to cost somewhere around $360 for a round trip. International trips could cost around $940.

Those numbers are optimistic depending on when you buy your ticket, where you're going, and what day of the week. 

Victoria Harrer and her husband bought tickets four months ago and they were almost out of their budget.  

"We used to pay between $175 and $350, and now the cheapest ticket we could find was $780," Harrer said. 

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Harrer and her husband traveled from Florida to Charlotte. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation ranks Charlotte’s airport 28th in the country based on the total number of domestic passengers.

We compared two similar-sized airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National and Nashville International.

The latest data shows that Charlotte Douglass International prices were higher at $357 in the last quarter of 2021. That's compared to Washington National at $329 and Nashville at $293. 

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Charlotte airline prices were more expensive than the largest airport in the U.S.: LAX in Los Angeles. That's addition to being higher than other American Airlines hubs like O’Hare in Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth International.

Hopper anticipates prices will start to decrease in the fall. It could come as a relief to passengers who have a specific price in mind that would stop them from flying.

"Honestly, for a flight of one hour and 20 minutes, I think $700 is the absolute max for me," Harrer said. 

Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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