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Travelers see higher airfare, mask mandate extended

Domestic airfare has risen 40 percent since the beginning of the year.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn — Airfare prices have been on the rise over the last month and they're expected to keep going up as the season continues.

According to a report from travel company Hopper, travelers have seen a 40 percent increase in domestic airfare since the beginning of the year. At the start of 2022, tickets cost around $235 round-trip. Now, current prices stand at around $330 round-trip. They’re expected to rise 10 percent through May with round-rip ticket prices anticipated to hit up to $360.

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Travel companies said higher fuel costs and growing demand for travel are what’s driving prices higher.

This comes at a time when airports across the country are getting busier as travel hits the skies for spring break vacations.

Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks expects this to be its busiest spring break travel period since the start of the pandemic.

“We’re going to go visit SeaWorld and Englewood,” Jasmine Kot from Massachusetts said.

“We’re going to Florida, Disney World,” Matthew Dutcher from New York, who started spring break this week, said. “We’re off for about two weeks which is pretty nice.”

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In addition to rising airfare, travelers can expect to see some COVID restrictions stick around a bit longer. The CDC is keeping the mask mandate for airplanes and public transit in place for 15 days, as the agency monitors a rise in COVID-19 cases.

“I work on a COVID floor so I’m fine with the mask on,” said Emma Tennant, a Mystic resident. “We've been traveling all along during the pandemic so definitely feel safe getting on the plane.”

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The CDC mask mandate will remain in effect for airplanes and public transit through May 3rd. It's unclear at this time if it will be extended beyond that date.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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