Purdue expert says plane ticket cost is on the rise

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – It may be considered the safest way to travel, but traveling by plane isn’t always the cheapest.

The expense of flying has become too much for travelers like Anshul Mishra.

“I think it’s a rip-off. You always pay the airlines so much for all these things. Air travel has become so expensive these days,” said Mishra.

It’s about to become even more expensive. Delays due to severe weather caused airlines to lose about $5.8 billion so far this winter, and Purdue expert Richard Feinberg said ticket prices aren’t the only thing going up.

“Consumers should expect increased fares and crowded planes and increased fees for things that they’re not paying for now. Not only to make up for the money that airlines have lost this year, but just because airlines want to be more profitable,” said Feinberg.

Feinberg said airlines have cut back on flights in order to fill planes to capacity, and some airlines have even started to charge a fee for carry on bags. Frequent flyer Mackenzie Hammer a move that frustrates some frequent flyers.

“I think it’s really silly. Especially when you may not even fill up your whole carry on, and you shouldn’t have to pay extra when you’re doing everything to fly,” said Hammer.

According to Feinberg, while some airlines are adding fees, others are getting rid of frequent flyer programs as a way to save money.

“Airlines are notoriously unprofitable, and so if they can decrease the number of tickets that consumers can get for frequent flyer miles, then they’re going to do it,” said Feinberg.

Whether it’s an added fee or an increase in ticket price, Feinberg said there are still ways for consumers to get the best bang for their buck.

“Consumers are going to have to be strategic and search for the ways that they can maximize their dollar on an airline,” said Feinberg.

Mishra said he is looking for other ways to get where he wants to be.

“It’s not fitting my budget anymore so, less planes and more trains,” said Mishra.

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