Higher Ticket Prices in Store for Holiday Travel

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Major airlines are set to launch widespread price increases.

Ticket costs will jump just in time for the holidays, meaning big bucks for the airlines.

So when is the best time buy and beat the fare hike?

Ticket costs are expected to increase within a week. Fares are up 10 percent from last year and cross country flights have increased 30 percent.

"We really haven't seen hikes in October or November for the last three or four years," said Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com

One estimate shows the average cost of tickets up $70 dollars from this time last year.

For a family of four traveling to visit grandma for the Christmas , that's $280 -- money that could buy more presents.

The price hikes are likely due to rising fuel costs, in addition to the demand for flights going up.

"Airlines raise their prices to see the appetite of consumers and also the appetite of other airlines," Seaney said.

On top of the price hike, travelers are also paying more in fees.

Some estimates show airlines will make an extra $32 billion this year in baggage fees and items purchased onboard.

For those traveling this holiday season, experts say book now.

"Every day you don't buy your ticket starting today, add $5 to your virtual ticket everyday you wait," Seaney claimed.

--Published Oct. 21, 2011.

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Tyler James

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