Skyrocketing airline prices are not stopping travelers from booking flights
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- If you've booked a plane ticket recently, you probably had to dig a little deeper into your pockets to cover it. Right now, domestic air travel is up 40% and demand is just driving those prices even higher.
"Travel was what I missed the most during COVID," said Terri Myszkewicz before flying out of Milwaukee to visit Nashville for the week.
She's one of many who say they're glad travel is bumping back up to pre-pandemic levels.
Officials with Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport say leisure travel has fully recovered and business travel isn't far behind.
"I've been traveling a lot more for business lately," said Kelli Lancour.
Mitchell International is currently operating at about 85% what it was this time pre-pandemic. Airport officials expect travel this summer to set records.
As travel increases, so do ticket prices. The average price for a domestic flight is more than $300. "Demand is there and the airlines are going to take advantage of it for sure," said Holly Robertson, travel consultant and owner at Latitudes Travel in New Berlin.
Robertson says it's hard to ignore the huge increase in prices but it's not stopping her clients from booking.
"I think people may have been saving the last two years, so we have a lot of clients that are even upgrading their accommodations once they get to their destination," said Robertson.
She says if you're looking to travel soon, consider using a travel agent to help navigate the experience. Robertson says there's no such thing as a last-minute cheap flight anymore, so if you do see a good price, know that you're lucky and snag it.
Robertson also suggests you purchase travel insurance as there's still a lot of uncertainty pertaining to travel.
She also expects more people will travel now that masks are no longer mandated at airports.
"I will probably end up taking mine off depending on how hot it is on the plane. I definitely think more people are comfortable," said Zachary Baynham, a UWM student who was headed home to St. Louis to visit family.
Other travelers told CBS 58 they are pleased that the airport mask mandate is no longer in place.