MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Summer trips are back on the calendar, and more Minnesotans are booking flights to make it happen.

Last June, about 140 flights took off daily from MSP Airport. This June, it’s up to 404. But if you plan to board one of those flights, expect a few changes, according to Kyle Potter, executive editor of Thrifty Traveler.

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“It’s not just a turnaround, it’s a complete 180 just within the last two months,” Potter said. “If you’re flying within the United States, you should just assume that your flight is going to be full.”

Callan Young of Golden Valley flew back to Minneapolis from Atlanta Thursday.

“Flights are definitely a lot fuller compared to about a month ago,” Young said.

But before you book, remember to use travel vouchers from trips you cancelled in 2020. Most airlines extended those expiration dates.

Also, Potter says most airlines have done away with change fees, as long as you don’t book basic economy.

“Every airline for the most part took a page out of Southwest’s book and killed off change fees,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

Arrive at MSP and you’ll notice something new at the TSA checkpoint.

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“You can just slide your driver’s license into an automated reader and it spits it out a couple seconds later and you can just walk through,” Potter said.

He says worry less about the wait at the security line, and more about the line to check in and check a bag.

“Basically everyone and their mother is checking a bag at the airport right now, and airlines don’t have the staff to handle all of it,” Potter said.

Once you step on the plane, you can expect food and drink service — and packed planes. You still need to wear a mask onboard and in the airports.

Art Brown of Minneapolis also just got off a flight from Atlanta Thursday.

“It’s packed. I had a middle seat on the way out. It felt weird to rub shoulders with people on both sides,” Brown said.

Potter says most of the rock-bottom domestic summer fares are gone, but there are still deals on international tickets or fares this fall.

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“A lot of the travel experience has gone back pretty darn close to normal,” Potter said.

Erin Hassanzadeh