Airline ticket prices climb dramatically as summer travel season approaches

(NBC) - Time to pack a bag, summer's almost here and that dream trip is waiting.

Wherever you're headed, ticket prices are climbing. Much higher than last summer.

"It's really tough comparison to last year because we had such great prices - ten year lows really," said travel expert Rick Seaney. "Last year was a fire sale and this year the embers are starting to cool off a little bit."

Since last summer, airlines have cut back on flights.

More travelers are now starting to fill a smaller number of seats pushing prices up.

On top of those higher prices add in baggage fees. Two years ago if you bought a ticket in spring you didn't have to pay to check your first bag. Today all major airlines charge except for Southwest.

A $25.00 baggage charge each way, adds another twenty percent to the cost of a $250 ticket.

So here's your strategy to save this summer, first shop early.

"Everybody who's out there a couple weeks before your trip and think you're going to get a good deal forget about it this year," Seaney said.

You can also save big by taking a flight with a connection.

And remember you may find the best deals if you shop for tickets on Tuesdays.

"What's happening is the airlines are doing these three day sales every week that start Tuesday morning and end Thursday," Seaney said.

Ways to save in a summer where the rising cost of flying could leave some vacations grounded.

"I normally go to the beach somewhere so we'll see if it happens. There might be a road trip instead of flying this time," said one traveler.

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