One of the goals of a mileage run is to find a good deal. Sadly, that is becoming increasingly difficult to do.

It’s normal for airfares to rise as summer approaches, we expect that to happen. But this summer may be more challenging than others. Airfares are up 13% compared to last year. If one airline raises its fares, others soon follow.

This is also true when it comes to fees. United Airlines was the first US airline to charge a fee for baggage, almost all of the others, with the exception of Southwest, soon followed that trend. But now, Spirit Airlines has taken it once step further with one of the worst fees I have seen! Spirit is the first US carrier to charge a fee for carry-on bags stored in overhead bins! Yes, that’s right; carry-on!

And the fee is not cheap: $30 if you pay in advance, $45 if you pay at the airport. Small bags, such as a purse or briefcase that can fit under a seat will fly for free. If you fly Spirit Airlines, and get bulkhead seating, you’ll have to pay an extra fee because there is no seat in front of you under which you can store your bag. I hope this fee stays with Spirit and Spirit alone.

The rising air fares have made it more difficult for me to find a mileage run. American Airlines is offering double mileage bonuses on some new routes (DFW to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for example), but even with the bonus miles, the fare is not low enough for this to be a good mileage run.

For a short time last week, Continental offered one of the best deals I had seen in a long time, round trip from Houston to Tokyo for $455. I wish I could find a similar deal on AA.

I looked at yet another Seattle mileage run in June, The routing took me to Dallas, Portland, Seattle, then back to Dallas then Austin.  But with a $265 fare, that came 2.77 cents per mile, not a particularly good deal. So, I will keep looking,

In the meantime, I look forward to my Seattle trip next weekend. I’ll visit the Museum of Flight, and already have a ticket for the Mariners game that evening against Detroit. It should be a fun trip!