Home Markets Holiday flights will be the most expensive in 5 years as pandemic fears subside

Holiday flights will be the most expensive in 5 years as pandemic fears subside

by SuperiorInvest

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 23: An airline passenger is hugged as he is picked up amid a long line of passengers waiting to be picked up after landing at Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 1 on the Thanksgiving Day Tuesday, November 23, 2021 in Los Angeles .

Allen J. Schaben | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

If you’re thinking of flying over Thanksgiving or Christmas, be prepared to pay.

Holiday flights will be the most expensive in five years, fare system Hopper said Monday.

The average domestic ticket for travel over Thanksgiving is $350, and an international round-trip ticket costs an average of $795 — both a 22 percent increase compared to 2019, before the pandemic, Hopper said.

Domestic round-trip tickets on Christmas, which falls on a weekend this year, are almost a third more expensive than in 2019, at an average of $463, while international flights are up 26% to $1,300, according to Hopper data.

Travel during peak demand times, such as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or the days before Christmas, always command higher fares. Travel experts recommend being flexible and traveling outside of the busiest travel days.

But Brett Snyder, founder of travel website Cranky Flier and a former airline executive, warns that cheap fares can be hard to find on any given day this holiday season as airlines have improved their control over how many seats they sell.

“Airlines are much better off now,” Snyder said. “Now there are a lot fewer flights on Christmas Day. If it’s cheaper, it’s not significantly cheaper.”

Many factors that contributed ka chaotic summer for air travel — lack of aircraft, personnel and backlog of training — are not immediately alleviated, which will limit flight capacity in the future. This also means that prices are likely to remain elevated, even if they are already off annual highs.

Hopper’s chief economist Hayley Berg recommends booking your vacation no later than mid-October, saying, “If you see a good price, even a price that seems reasonable, we recommend booking.”

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