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If you have dreamed of going on holiday now that most of the Covid restrictions have been lifted, You might want to wait until the summer is over to make those bookings. Tickets can now be incredibly expensive, making both domestic and international travel a luxury many cannot afford, however This trend could be over sooner than we expected.
After a chaotic start to summer, with several countries lifting restrictions simultaneously and airfares rising more than 50% on high travel demand, the industry is now cooling again as airlines slowly adjust to the new reality. As surprising as it may sound, air travel could be getting harder and harder a little bit cheaper than it is now.
Still skeptical? Let’s explain why:
Inflation constrains demand and lowers air fares
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US inflation rose 9.1% in June, leading to another rise in consumer prices at the fastest rate in over four decadesIn fact, fares were “one of the few” categories to see a decline, albeit small. More specifically, air tickets were 1.8% cheaper in June compared to May.
It may not be outspoken, but it is proof that the aviation sector is finally finding its balance again after some difficulties Chaotic Months with limited staff and airport bottlenecks. This compares to increases in most other sectors, from rent and energy – up 0.8% and 7.5% respectively in June – to food (up 1%).
As reported by CNBC, and we’re sure all of our readers will agree, Ticket prices usually drop when the high season ends, a period encompassing the hot summer months from June to September. Then the kids are at home and families tend to go on vacations, increasing demand and more recently airlines to restrict ticket sales on some of the busiest routes.
However, once the holiday season ends and the fourth quarter of the year begins in October, the flow of travelers immediately slows, which has traditionally prompted airlines to lower fares in response to an expected drop in revenue. Many believed that 2022 would be an extraordinary year in this regard, but the numbers we’re seeing suggest the opposite.
July flights are already cheaper compared to May
Airfare tracker Hopper supports these findings: On July 14, return flights within the US averaged $375, compared to $413 in May. when they were highest. Although the July numbers still show a 13% increase compared to 2019, the pre-pandemic reference period, fares have actually increased dropped despite more pessimistic earlier forecasts.
Hopper’s most recent report covers only domestic travel in the United States and does not include data on international travel. However, one thing is clear: now that inflation is limiting purchasing power, Summer airfares could be near their peak, if they haven’t already. As measured by Adobe Analytics, bookings in June were already down 2.8% compared to May, and that’s excluding July.
This could explain why airlines have started gradually lowering their fares, as evidenced by the studies mentioned above. Should the monthly reduction be maintained and air traffic be less congested in the fourth quarter, it will more and more likely travel becomes cheaper during the quieter autumn and winter months.
Why is off-season travel the best option?
Right now, booking a trip in the off-season is the surest way to save money, especially when traveling to Europe, where a 7.6% inflation rate is destabilizing the economy. This is natural an estimate based on data provided by fare analysts and our own interpretation of current trends – it is by no means a guarantee.
Conversely, Delta CEO Ed Bastian explained that airlines cannot “satisfy” the urges of travelers who have been forced to stay at home for almost two years in a single “busy summer period.” As a result, he expects the “pent-up wanderlust” to remain. see that Delta plans to restrict flights throughout 2022this could actually freeze prices if they are higher than usual.
As you might have guessed it’s all a waiting game. You can either book that long-awaited vacation now and join the millions of Americans queuing at airports for delayed flights, or take some time off and maybe take advantage of better deals in the fall. If flights aren’t actually becoming more affordable, as the trend is suggesting, you should at least know about it far fewer crowds.
Other reasons why you should travel later in the year than in the summer:
- Hotel prices are significantly cheaper in the off-season
- The weather is no longer so unbearably hot, but still not cold
- airports are not nearly as packed and lines are shorter
- Food, sights and cultural institutions tend to be cheaper*
*For example, some destinations in Europe offer discounted tickets to a number of museums during the low season (e.g. in Athens, Acropolis tickets are half price from November 1st to March 31st)
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions are subject to change without prior notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Before travelling, check with your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes in travel requirements. Travel Off Path does not endorse travel contrary to government advice