By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you fly out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, brace yourself for a jump in the cost of a ticket.

Travel giant Carlson Wagonlit released its 2013 Global Travel Prices forecast, which predicts that airfares at MSP will climb more than twice the rate of most other U.S. cities. Wagonlit attributes the increase largely to MSP’s fewer flights and smaller aircraft.

Coupled with a growing demand for leisure and business air travel, carriers like Delta can raise prices higher than normal.

For Mari Qxell, whose family is in Spain, flying home with her daughter a few times a year will be more difficult.

“In the summer you can pay like $1,500,” she said. “This is getting really really expensive lately.”

Unfortunately for Qxell, it looks to get a lot more expensive.

The Wagonlit study expects airfares to climb between 5.4 and 7.9 percent in the Twin Cities in 2013. The average fare increase across the U.S. will be around 2.8 percent.

Why the increase? It all has to do with tightened airline capacity, leading to fewer available seats. Combined with a greater demand by business and leisure travelers, carriers like Delta will have the green light to hike their fares.

“As a passenger, I need to get places, so it’s one of those costs you have to incur to keep traveling,” said Brian Schwankl, who travels for business.

Ever since U.S. carriers suffered multi-billion dollar losses stemming from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, high oil prices and the worldwide recession, airlines have slashed capacity to save cost. With passenger demand returning to pre-recession levels, it’s now a formula to capture profit out of passengers pockets.

“With a family traveling, it can make it impossible to go home and see family,” Qxell said. “So I hope they don’t keep rising, so we can go home.”


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