Breaking records: Experts say summer travel season is already heating up

ByIvan Rodriguez, CNNWire
Friday, April 14, 2023
Travel season heating up, airlines preparing for record-breaking surge
It's only April, but summer travelers are already eager to take to the skies.

It's only April, but summer travelers are already eager to take to the skies.

On Thursday, Delta Air Lines reported record advanced bookings for this coming summer.

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In its travel forecast released this week, Expedia noted a 25% increase in online flight searches for the June through August period.

"I thought last summer was going to be the sold out summer because of this pent up demand for travel, but people clearly didn't get it out of their systems," said Melanie Fish, a travel expert at Expedia brands. "They're ready to go again. This summer, people are not going to give up on their travel."

Airlines say they are prepared for the summer travel surge, but fears of meltdowns like those that crippled air traffic last year has the FAA allowing some major airlines to reduce their flight schedules. These reductions will happen at a few of the nation's busiest airports due to a shortage of air traffic controllers in an effort to reduce flight delays.

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"Let's remember those lessons we learned last summer," Fish said. "Bring them into this summer, book those early flights when possible, direct flights when possible, and keep it all in a carry on."

The surge in demand for flights also means vacationers are likely to pay more.

Airfares are up over last year, increasing by more than 17 percent, according to the latest federal inflation data.

Yet higher prices don't seem to be deterring future fliers and there are still deals to be found.

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"Book on Sundays, travel on Wednesdays, and the sweet spot to get the best deal on domestic airfare is 21 to 60 days out," Fish said.