Many airlines to resume change fees on economy seats

If you're itching to plan a summer getaway, experts say now is the time.  Airlines are annoucing they're resuming change fees for economy tickets soon and demand is expected to drive prices up. 

With vaccinations rising, and COVID-19 cases declining, more than 60% of people in a Harvest Host survey say they plan to travel more this year than in 2019. 

Most airlines have permanently dropped change fees on regularly priced tickets, but many plan to resume change fees to rebook economy tickets if they're purchased after March. 

"If you're traveling this summer, this fall, in basic economy, you have flexibility with your ticket so you could change the dates without having to pay the normal penalties to do so," said Scott Keyes with Scott's Cheap Flights.  

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Pent up demand to travel is growing, from more online searches to record travelers at airports on Monday. 

"Just this week on Monday, there were 1.5 million travelers reported, a new post-pandemic record," said Keyes.

Keyes says to take advantage of low prices, book now. Though he doesn't expect airfares to soar from demand. 

"The airlines still have thousands of planes parked in the desert in Arizona and California that are waiting for demand to pick up. So that increase in demand we're expecting to see over the next month or two is going to be met with an increase in supply," explained Keyes.

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He says travelers can find deals right now.  

"Houston to San Diego for $97 roundtrip, Houston to Cancun for $198 roundtrip, even Houston to Hawaii for $321 roundtrip," said Keyes.

He doesn't expect many airlines to require proof that travelers have been vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19. Rather, he says states and countries may have their own different requirements for visitors.

If you canceled a trip and have an expired travel voucher, you may still want to call the airline to see if they'll cut you a deal. 

Most cruise lines are still pausing cruises through April, May or June.  

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