Airfare expected to increase but there are ways to save

1:30 PM, Jul 24, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Over the past year, airlines attempted to raise airfares seven times, it proved successful three times.

A new study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel anticipates fares out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will increase anywhere from 5.4% to 7.9% in 2013.  Despite this, there are ways you can cut your costs.

"Airfares can be quite volatile depending on time of year, day of week, destination, a variety of different things affect prices," said AAA Travel expert Wendy Wiegel.

Rising fuel costs will mean more packed and more expensive flights, according to industry experts. Those same experts say to get a good deal, timing and destination are key.

Discounted travel used to go to the "midweek" passengers, those who flew Tuesday or Wednesday would get a better deal. These days, Wiegel said, you're more likely to get a deal on a flight if you book the car and the hotel as well.

"Particularly if it's a vacation or leisure trip, you can save money," explained Wiegel. "The popular destinations are still pretty competitive."

Competition also kicks in when airlines reduce their fares. Southwest Airlines recently offered a $69 one-way deal and other airlines followed and dropped their rates. The deal is now over, but they will happen again and when they do, shop around. Now, more than ever, is the time to buy.

"And it isn't exactly true that you have to book at the last minute to get a fire sale, or booking way in advance, you really have to know when prices change, typically, the airlines will change pricing on Tuesdays, but that's not always the case," said Wiegel.

Uncertain too, are the discount airlines.

While they may offer cheaper prices, be sure to read the fine print. Airlines like Spirit offer deals, but you have to pay for baggage, including carry-on items.

You can also save some money by keeping your baggage to a minimum and parking away from the airport.

(Copyright 2012 KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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