'I was dumbstruck:' Families grapple with rising gas, plane ticket prices ahead of summer travel

Summer plans are up in the air for many and people juggle inflation, gas prices and new health regulations. 

Even prices of plane tickets have gone up ahead of summer travel, according to Paine Field airport passengers. 

Lertta Tursini is one of the several hundred travelers who landed at Paine Field Airport on Thursday. She says her flight from Orange County used to cost her $129 just last year.  She ended up paying $208 this time. 

"It's pretty inflated. Just like everything else in life," Tursini said. 

She’s not the only one noticing the rising costs. 

Jane Hoey, who flew in from San Diego to visit her son, says she paid $325 for her flight. 

Despite the prices, she’s got a few trips lined up. 

"I’m going to Asheville. The ticket was $1,000," Hoey said. "I was dumbstruck." 

She says as a family, they’re planning a trip to Michigan this summer. 

Her son John Hoey, who lives in Shoreline, is planning to make the trip with his wife and two twin sons this summer. 

"We're starting to look at flights now for the end of July and they're pretty expensive, more than they have been," John Hoey said "For all four of us to fly, it might be about $2,500." 

John Hoey says he usually takes advantage of discounts, miles and airfare companion programs but even then – that's not enough. 

"We've talked about road trips as an alternative if we don't want to fly, so maybe that's maybe this is a summer just to explore locally," John Hoey said. 

However, others say inflation will not cancel their summer plans. 

"We're both retired now, and you know, we're looking to travel," Nancy Young said.  

Then there are new regulations – no more masks, for now. 

"If you're going to travel, you have to live with it, of course. There were concerns, but it's a price I'm willing to pay to be here," Tursini said.  

"Flew down with the mask on, flew back with no mask," Young said.  

John Hoey says he’s disappointed the mask mandate ended because he takes public transportation several times a week. 

"I will continue to wear a mask on light rail and buses and here in the airport," John Hoey said. 

You can expect summer travel to be busy if not by air – on the road, despite the steep gas prices. 

Young isn't worried about the price at the pump since she says she’s not planning a cross-country trip. 

"We're actually talking about taking a trip down to Arizona and driving down national parks," Nancy Young said. 

This isn’t a return to normalcy but rather a fresh start or reset, as we move past these last two years of the pandemic and now deal with inflation. 

"We're all in it together, inflation and we're doing our best," Tursini said. 

Travelers are also worried about flight cancellations and delays as airlines continue to struggle with staffing shortages and pilot protests across the nation. 

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