We might be in the midst of a break on the chaos and congestion at airports from spring and summer, as well as a drop in airfares this autumn. But when the holiday season from mid-November until just after New Year’s rolls around, expect airline ticket prices to rise.
According to a story on Yahoo Money, using statistics and data from the travel app Hopper, airfares will rise significantly for holiday travel. And the longer you wait to book, the more expensive it will get.
Hopper estimates that, for Thanksgiving, roundtrip domestic airfares will average out at about $350 – a leap of 22 percent compared to the pre-pandemic year in 2019 for the same time period. Hopper predicts international airfares are expected to average $795 for a roundtrip flight. That’s up 25 percent from 2019 and, in a testament to inflation, that price is up 41 percent over the holiday period from 2021.
It gets worse the closer you get to Christmas.
If you fly during the weeks surrounding Christmas, domestic airfare will average $463 roundtrip, a 31 percent increase from 2019 and 39 percent more than last year. And if you have designs on traveling overseas, perhaps to visit the Christmas markets in Europe for example, know that international airfares are expected to average $1,300 for a roundtrip flight, up 26 percent from Christmas 2019.
“Factors, including higher jet fuel prices, fewer flights scheduled and limited airline capacity compared to 2019, and two years of pent-up holiday travel demand, are contributing to higher Thanksgiving and Christmas airfares,” Hopper Senior Economist Andrew Heritage told Yahoo Money.
Now, Hopper was quick to point out that while prices might be rising, the pent-up demand for air travel hasn’t gone away. Despite the cost increase compared to last year and even three years ago, Hopper found in a survey that more than half of all Americans plan to travel for the holidays.
The company said there was a general feeling among aviation observers – including Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – that delays and cancellations that marked the spring and summer would lessen by the holidays.
“U.S. airlines have launched aggressive hiring campaigns to meet this demand,” Hannah Walden, a spokesperson for the trade association Airlines for America, told Yahoo Money. “But the rebound in demand for air travel has been rapid – quicker than most industry experts and analysts ever predicted. Flight schedules for September and October have been reduced by 15 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels.”
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