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Delta Air Lines says you'll be paying more for airfare this summer

Post-pandemic travel demand is back and bigger, with higher costs and higher booking rates.
Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 14, 2023

Expect to pay more for your summer travel plans this year. 

Delta Air Lines reports summer flights are selling fast, with travelers booking in advance at a record high. 

Those bookings are good news for major airlines like Delta and American Airlines, who are seeing earnings on the rise post-pandemic. 

The downside is: Delta customers will pay about 17% more to fly compared to last year. 

Delta's CEO Ed Bastain told CNBC the airline industry is looking "healthy," and things aren't slowing down. 

"We're in the experience economy and people want to get their experiences back," Bastain said. "They've gone three years without having the experiences they want, including last summer."

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According to Expedia, flight searches are up by 25% for June through August compared to the same time last year. Searches for international destinations across Europe and Asia are also up. 

The online travel agency said a way to save around 8% on domestic airfare is to book 21 to 60 days out in advance. It also suggests booking trips abroad as soon as possible.

With flight prices going up, wages are also up. 

In February, Delta announced a 5% pay raise for airline workers, which went into effect on April 1. 

Delta pilots will see a pay increase of more than 30% through 2026 after demanding higher wages. American Airlines promised to also raise wages after Delta's announcement.