HOUSTON -

If you plan on flying anywhere, be prepared. Airfares are taking off.

The average fare went up nearly 5 percent in the first three months of 2012 compared to 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The airlines said the volatile price of jet fuel, multiple airline mergers and fewer passengers are forcing prices up.

Here in Houston, Hobby Airport has seen prices go up 4.3 percent, making the average fare $312.

Fares at Bush Intercontinental Airport are even higher with prices at 5.9 percent -- $504 dollars on average.