Summer travel boom is coming — book flights now, expert says

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A growing number of vaccinated Americans, and more than a years’ worth of pent up demand, has experts predicting a travel boom in the months ahead.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans have travel plans in the next six months, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Scott’s Cheap Flights founder Scott Keyes said if you plan to fly anywhere this summer, don’t wait to sort out the arrangements.

“Now is the time to be booking those summer flights, because now is the time when cheap summer flights are available,” Keyes said.

But some people aren’t waiting until summer. Seniors are already taking advantage of their vaccination status.

“Senior citizens were the first people in line, after healthcare workers, in most states, to get vaccinated and what did they turn around and do,” Keyes said. “They were booking travel.”

While leisure travel is expected to surge, business travel isn’t.

Just 1 in 5 companies polled believes they’ll resume domestic business travel in the next three months, according to the Global Business Travel Association.

Keyes said that means airlines are busy rerouting flights to top tourist destinations, and there’s now a cap on just how much most travelers can spend.

The number of flight searches to places like Hawaii, to Cancun, to Puerto Rico are actually higher right now in March 2021 than it was in March 2019, well before the pandemic,” Keyes said.

The number of passengers traveling through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is still low.

The most recent report from January shows passenger traffic is down 68 percent compared to January 2020.

Still, more than 414,000 passengers traveled through the airport.

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