Report: Cost of Flights Out of MSP to Rise in 2013

Local hotel rates are also likely to increase next year, but Twin Cities car rentals are expected to go down in price, according to a report by Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

If you’ll be flying next year for either business or pleasure, you’d better bump up the travel budget.

Tickets for flights out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) will likely rise between 5.4 percent and 7.9 percent in 2013, according to a report released Monday by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT).

The expected increase for the Twin Cities is significantly higher than the 2.8 percent airfare bump that’s predicted for all of North America. The report said that the increase will result from “continued capacity reductions”—or smaller planes and fewer flights—in the Twin Cities market.

CWT, which focuses on business travel management, formed its price projections based on several factors, including a statistical model that evaluates price behavior and forecasts future increases, and information gleaned from CWT’s own travel experts.

Based on CWT’s projections, plane fares aren’t the only travel-related costs expected to increase next year.

Daily hotel rates are likely to rise between 1.8 percent and 4.1 percent locally—and by 3.2 percent for the United States and Canada together, CWT said in its report, noting that the local price hikes will be driven by a handful of upscale hotels that are still trying to boost average rates to the pre-2008 prices they charged before the recession.

For consumers, the CWT report did offer one piece of welcome travel news: Local car rental rates are expected to decline between 1.8 percent and 3.4 percent next year. Driving that decline is “intense competition between suppliers, coupled with low fleet costs and a strong used car market.”

For North America as a whole, CWT anticipates that rental car market pricing will decrease 1.1 percent in 2013.

CWT, which provided travel price projections for every region of the world, said that prices in most travel categories are expected to “grow modestly around the globe next year.”

Meanwhile, Nick Vournakis, CWT’s senior vice president of global product marketing, said in a prepared statement that price increases in 2013 “will begin to level off in most regions throughout the world” as compared to 2012, but “slightly higher prices will be the reality again next year as demand for travel outpaces supply in most places. . .”

News about the anticipated increase in local airfare might not come as a surprise to most Twin Citians. A report that the Bureau of Transportation Statistics released last year found that MSP is the 11th-most expensive airport in the nation.

The average domestic airfare from MSP during the first quarter of 2011 was $413—up 9 percent from the same period the prior year.