By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Want to get out of town to escape this weather? Who doesn’t? But we have a warning for you, if you plan to travel by air.

Travel experts warn a high volume of delays and cancellations will continue into the peak summer months.

If you have traveled recently you no doubt have run into long lines, delays and even cancellations. Experts say expect that to continue. As air travel plummeted during the pandemic, airlines big and small cut back on staff and even planes. But pent-up demand is only expected to increase this summer.

Many travelers looking for a deal are booking on budget airlines. But budget airlines may come with a hidden cost. Smaller, low-cost airlines often don’t have extensive reciprocal arrangements with other airlines allowing you to book on another carrier if your flight is delayed or cancelled. And if you are going low cost, you are more likely to face delays and cancellations.

Kyle Potter of Thrifty Traveler was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“There are some huge savings to be had when you fly on budget airlines like Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, and to a lesser extent Sun Country. But part of the reason why they save some money is they’re very selective about how often they fly places,” he said. “So for example, Spirit may only fly from Minneapolis to Orlando once a day, while Delta is flying that same flight seven-plus times a day. They have much more room, they have far more planes to get people on another fight either that day or the following day.”

All carriers have been hit with skyrocketing fuel costs, costs they have passed onto consumers. According to the Consumer Price Index, airfares were up 12% in just February. One bit of advice, if you can delay your trip until after Labor Day, when the busy summer travel season is over, airfares should go down. It’s possible by then fuel prices may come down too, but some experts say you shouldn’t count on that.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning every Sunday at 6, 7 and 10:30 a.m.

Esme Murphy