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Monday, September 13, 2010 - 8:18am

Air fares are going up, up, up.

Air travelers paid about 20 to 30 percent more for a plane ticket during the second quarter of this year than the same period last year for domestic and international flights, according to Orbitz.com.

"Some of the fares, like to Florida, even have gone up 50 percent," Gary Rugoff, a Dallas air traveler, said. "If they would lower the airfare, the planes would be full and I think everybody would be happier. They'd make more money. More people would fly."

Airlines have been operating fewer flights and filling them up, so passengers are paying the price. Some people are finding that even if you book your ticket well in advance, flights are still pricier than last year. And it's not sitting well with frequent flyers.

"There's no incentive for the airline to discount when they know that the seats are going to fill up," Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, said.

Your ticket isn't the only place where you're paying more. Most airlines now charge for checking in luggage.

You can also face a slew of other fees, if you want food, a blanket or a pillow on board, priority seating, or to double or triple your miles. All of that can add up to close to $100 or more.

"It comes down to, do you really want to see your family for Christmas? And the answer is yes. So you pay the price," Joanne Delagrange, another Dallas air traveler, said.

"I think it's pretty outrageous," Leslie Salas, who was flying to Maui with her family of four, said. "I think it's pretty ridiculous. We're all loaded to go with our necessities -- our pillows, our blankets, our food."

Others don't mind the extra fees.

"Those who want the service will pay for it. Those that don't really want the service will then say no, instead of just taking it because it's free," Rugoff said.

Some of the airfare bargains travelers enjoyed during the recession are still around.

You just have to buy at the right time and be going to right place.

Seaney advises booking your ticket on Tuesday afternoons.

If you're not flying during the holidays, domestic airfares under $300 will be abundant the rest of the year, he said.
 

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