Ticket prices soar out of MAF

MIDLAND -- "It's a perfect storm of a lot of different things causing those prices to go up," explained Jami Turner, a travel agent with the Travel Fanatic.

Ticket prices are soaring out here in Midland. One pilot and a travel agent explain where you fly out of, is just one factor in the ticket pricing.

"I think the name of our airport is a little deceptive. It's Midland international, so people think, 'oh international terminal,' and that can be confusing because we're a regional airport," she said.

Turner explains that there are few direct flights out of Midland, meaning most trips out of Texas require a second ticket.

"As much as we love living in the Permian Basin and we love oil being over $70 a barrel, those things affect fuel prices. We think about our cars, it costs more to fill up our cars, it costs more to fill up those planes," explained Turner.

Something she's seen first-hand.

Her son Miles has been flying airplanes since he was 16 and earned his private license at 17.

Today he's flying in the passenger seat for a pilot job interview.

"I always have the penthouse office, I've got a great corner view with the windows, if I don't like my office it's constantly moving,” he said. “It's just a great place to be, you feel free, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs."

Miles explains there's a need for pilots in the country, as baby boomers are on their way out.

"They came in a wave and there's a new mandatory retirement age of 65 and so all of those people within the next 20 years will be retiring, so within the next 20 years, the US will need 117-thousand new pilots," said Miles Turner.

He's ready to step up, "It's great for me because there are plenty of job opportunities for me, signing bonuses. I've seen upwards of $50,000 per signing bonus."

Even though the ticket prices are increasing, the flights to-and-from our area are as well.

Last month more than 50-thousand people flew into Midland, in comparison to 45-thousand people the same time last year.

From the start of the year, 43-thousand people flew out of our airport in January, increasing by 5-thousand people over the last few months.

Even with the high prices, that's not turning the Travel Fanatic away from using their airport.

"I just love the convenience of being able to be here in 10-15 minutes from my home, we can go anywhere in the world from Midland," concluded Jami Turner.