DALLAS — Enjoy lower airfares while you can. Airlines are taking steps to push prices higher by next year.

Fares have been dropping for over a year. Taking inflation into account, the average round trip within the U.S. in late 2015 was the lowest since 2010.

Ticket prices have fallen even further this year, according to the airlines. Not only is flying from Boston to Denver cheap, but Europe is more affordable.

Fliers can thank the steep plunge in oil prices since mid-2014. As they saved billions of dollars on fuel, carriers added supply – seats – faster than travel demand was growing. The major airlines have announced steps to rein in the oversupply, but fares will remain affordable for the peak travel season.

One downside: Be prepared to spend a few more hours in a security line.

The number of passengers this summer is expected to rise 4 percent over last year’s record level. That, along with fewer Transportation Security Administration screeners, is expected to create long lines.

American Airlines and United Airlines each plan to spend $4 million on contractors who will help TSA by handling some of the non-screening duties.

Stories about horrific lines might be an opportunity for last-minute deals, according to Pauline Frommer, of the travel guide company Frommer’s.

“If American Airlines is going to spend $4 million of its own money, obviously the airlines are nervous about not being able to sell last-minute seats,” she said.

Signing up for fare alerts from the airlines and price-tracking websites can help consumers spot those deals, many of which lapse quickly.

Last week airfarewatchdog.com spotted $688 round trips on British Airways and American leaving New York on July 6 and returning July 17. George Hobica, the site’s founder, said $1,200 would be more typical for peak season. The sale lasted one day.

If you don’t have kids in school, the easiest way to save money would be delaying a big trip until at least mid-August. “After that, we see fares drop off a cliff,” Hobica said.

Within the U.S., the cost of an average round trip fell 8 percent last year to $363, according to government figures. Fares have fallen faster on international routes, which added a glut of flights.

U.S. airlines now get about $1.1 billion more from baggage and ticket-change fees than they did in 2010, although the percentage of revenue accounted for by airfares is unchanged at 75 percent.

Faced with fuel costs that have gone back up since February, investors are pressuring airlines to reverse the decline in fares by growing more slowly.

Delta Air Lines said this month it will cut its planned growth more sharply as this year goes along. United Airlines squeezed its planned 2016 growth by 0.5 percentage points, and American will slash its planned international growth this year to 2.5 percent from the original 6 percent.


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