Holiday airfare prices hit 5-year high as travel chaos continues

Book your vacation trip early if you don’t want to pay exorbitant fares.

The cost of holiday flights will hit a five-year high this year, according to the latest analysis from fare-tracking platform Hopper released on Monday.

“Major factors including jet fuel prices, fewer scheduled flights and two years of pent-up holiday travel demand will combine this year to push Thanksgiving and Christmas airfares to their highest level in 5 years.” , Hopper’s chief economist, Hayley Berg, said in her 2022 vacancy. travel outlook report.

Flight delays and cancellations have been at their worst over the holidays.

Airline ticket prices have skyrocketed in recent months even as travelers face a wave of flight disruptions and cancellations. As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, airlines scramble to meet increased demand despite pilot and flight crew shortages, rising fuel costs and other supply chain challenges .

Disruptions were worst during peak holiday weekends such as July 4 and Labor Day, which each led to a series of cancellations at airports across the country.

Airport security checkpoint
Authorities are pressuring airlines to improve service.
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Domestic flights over the Thanksgiving holiday are selling for an average of $350 per ticket this year, according to Hooper data. This figure represents a 43% increase over last year’s holiday price and 22% over the pre-pandemic holiday travel season in 2019.

Prices are higher for international travelers, with an average price of $795 per ticket for Thanksgiving, up 41% from last year.

Air travelers
Plane tickets are much more expensive than last year.

Tickets are even more expensive during the Christmas holidays, with the average domestic air fare selling at $463 per ticket until mid-September. Christmas plane tickets are 39% more expensive than they were last year.

For international travelers, Christmas plane tickets cost an average of $1,300.

Travelers who book their trips early tend to see the biggest savings, according to Berg.

Domestic flights over Thanksgiving are 43% more expensive.

“Despite a significant recovery in travel since the peak of the pandemic, travelers continue to plan trips closer to their departure dates than before the pandemic,” Berg wrote.

Higher airfares have remained a major burden on household budgets as inflation has surged over the past year. Air fares showed signs of improvement in July, falling 7.8%, according to federal data.

However, airfare costs were still up 27.7% from the same month a year earlier.

The Biden administration has stepped up pressure on US airlines to deal with deteriorating flight conditions. Several carriers have recently updated their customer service plans to clarify that travelers are entitled to free meals and accommodation in the event of long delays or cancellations caused by their airline.

As The Post reported, travelers have also seen an increase in mishandled baggage incidents over the past year, with American Airlines and Alaska Airlines among the worst offenders.