Airline prices start to drop for Fall vacations

Looking for a cheap vacation? Book now for fall! Airline prices to popular vacation hotspots have fallen by 15% for trips in September and October – but they’re still way above pre-pandemic costs

  • Airline prices for this fall have dropped by 15 percent compared to 2022
  • Six in ten of the most popular US domestic destinations have seen their flight prices fall
  • However prices remain considerably above pre-pandemic prices in 2019

Airline prices are finally starting to drop in time for fall, new figures show, offering some respite to overstretched families. 

Analysis by economists at travel portal Hopper found the average cost of a domestic, round-trip flight for September and October was $218 – a 15 percent decline from the same period in 2022. 

While it signals a cooling of a heated vacation period which has seen the cost of a travel shoot up, prices remain way above pre-pandemic levels.

Separate figures from the Airlines Reporting Corporation – seen by travel guy The Points Guy – found that six out of the top ten US domestic destinations had seen their flight prices fall since last year.

However they remained up to 24 percent more expensive than they were in 2019. 

Airline prices to popular domestic destinations are finally starting to drop just in time for fall, according to figures from the Airlines Reporting Corporation

For example, flights to Orlando International Airport (MCO) for anytime between Labor Day and October are now averaging $322.

It marked a 12 percent decrease on fall 2022 figures – but remained 12 percent above 2019. 

Similarly, flights to Denver International Airport in the same period are now averaging $307 – seven percent down on last year. However the ticket price remained 15 percent above pre-pandemic costs. 

The research analyzed the cost of journeys in September and October that were booked between January 1 and July 27th of each year. 

While most domestic flights had gone down in price, four had increased since last year. 

These included journeys to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, which saw flights increase by 6 percent on last year. 

San Francisco International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport and Harry Reid International Airport also saw journeys increase by one percent on last year.

It comes after a volatile few months for the travel industry after demand for vacations shot up following the pandemic.

In April, the rate of annual inflation for flights was up 16 percent – way above the rate of general inflation which was then 4.9 percent. 

But by June, airfares had come plummeting down by 18 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Analysis by economists at travel portal Hopper found that the average cost of a domestic, round-trip flight for September and October was $218

This was due to a combination of slowing demand and falling jet fuel costs – which were pushed up following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Such fluctuation has prompted panic in the aviation industry, with airlines concerned that demand for international travel is outpacing domestic journeys. 

Last week JetBlue said in its second quarter financial report that the appeal of international flights was thanks to ‘a greater than expected shift of pent-up COVID demand.’

As a result the airline – which operates in around 100 domestic destinations – slashed its annual outlook.

Southwest Airlines reported underwhelming second-quarter earnings after banking $683 million – a decline from $760 million it made in the same period last year. 

Alaska Airgroup has also warned that a lack of demand for domestic flights would hurt its financial results.

Data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation shows that popular long-haul flights have continued to increase from 2022. 

A flight to Hong Kong International Airport, for example, is 25 percent more expensive than last year while journeys to Seoul and Athens are up 13 and 12 percent respectively.

Flights to Paris and London Heathrow, however, have fallen by 12 and six percent each.

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