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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Airfare is expected to climb for the holiday season, says one aviation professor at Purdue University, but the higher prices might stick around for a little while after the holiday season.

Aviation and Transportation Technology Professor Yi Gao said higher fuel costs will likely be the main factor that drives the price of an airline ticket higher than in previous years, but there are many other things to consider as well.

“Most people agree the American economy is doing well and because of that, inflation is relatively high as is wage growth,” Gao said. “For airlines they have to pay their staff a higher salary, which will pressure airlines to raises ticket prices.”

This happening, in turn, could see higher airfares continue well into 2019 if the economy continues to move in the right direction. Gao said travelers planning to fly during the holidays should make their plans quickly to avoid rising prices from rising fuel costs.

“Fuel can increase from $40 to $80 per barrel within a year or drop that much in the same amount of time,” Gao added.

He also said airlines like Southwest and Allegiant will likely try to take advantage of the rising ticket costs by offering certain discounts. Gao points to Southwest in particular since around the holidays they allow you to have a free checked bag included with the price of you ticket.

Crude oil prices continue an upward trend in recent months, remaining above $70 per barrel as of mid-October.

(PHOTO: SOPA Images/Getty Images)