The Astronomical Increase in Domestic Airfare Prices Post-Pandemic

Summer is fast approaching, and you know what this means? It means it’s time to make travel plans and go on a vacation! 

But it seems like the era of cheap flight costs is fast coming to an end. After almost 2 years of empty airports and low flight costs, travelers are now facing expensive fares for domestic flights. Why are flights so expensive? Will airfare prices continue to go up? How can travelers reduce flight costs? Here are some things you should know about the increase in domestic airfare prices. 

  1. Why are Airfare Prices so Expensive? 

After two years of pandemic and lockdown, all everyone wants is to finally travel. However, airfare prices drastically increased in the last few months leaving many reconsidering their travel plans. 

No doubt, airfare is usually one of the biggest travel expenses, but the post-pandemic increase in flight costs is quite staggering. Below are some reasons for the increase in airfare prices.

High Demand:

Like many other things, flight prices are determined by the law of supply and demand. Higher demand brings about higher supply and, often, higher prices. This law was evident during the pandemic when many travel airlines lowered their travel costs due to COVID-19 restrictions and low demand. Travelers enjoyed discounted flight prices until 2021 and even early 2022, but it seems as though that has ended. 

Travel demand has increased quite a lot over the last few months, leading to higher ticket prices for consumers. 

Fuel Prices 

Another main reason for the high airfare prices is the hike in fuel costs. Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for every airline, and any sharp rise in fuel costs always leads to high ticket prices. 

In 2020, the price of fuel dropped, making it easier for airlines to offer low flight deals. However, crude oil prices went up again in 2021, explaining why airlines had to increase their flight tickets. 

At the moment, jet fuel prices have increased by 100% due to the war in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russian oil. 

With jet fuel prices at this high level, it’s impossible for airlines not to pass the costs to consumers through expensive flight tickets. 

  1. Will Airfare Prices Continue To Go Up? 

From canceled flights, ridiculously low airfare costs, and lockdown restrictions —there is no doubt that the airline industry suffered from the pandemic effects. 

However, the rush to travel over the past months has caused airlines to increase travel costs to cover up the loss accrued during the pandemic. With the rush to travel and hike in fuel costs, experts believe that the airfare prices will continue to go up. So, while airlines may eventually recover from the impact of the pandemic, it seems the days of low-cost travel for consumers are over. 

  1. Rising Airfare Prices: 8 Tips to Reduce the Costs of Travel 

Airfare prices are increasing, but this doesn’t mean you should shelf your travel plans. We have some tips to help you save money whether you’re traveling for leisure or business.

  • Use Flight Search Aggregators

It’s always advisable to do a thorough research on your flights to have a good idea of the costs. You can start by searching on aggregators like Google Flights to get a list of flights that match your travel itinerary. Flight aggregators also let you compare fares from different airlines and find the cheapest option for your trip. 

  • Travel on Less Popular Days

As you already know, the time and day you book your trip can determine how expensive the price is. For instance, airline tickets tend to be quite expensive on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Labor Day. Also, flight costs tend to be more expensive on Fridays and Sundays compared to Wednesdays. 

Also, traveling during the off-season is a great way to fully enjoy your vacation without dealing with crowds and long queues. So if you are on a budget, consider skipping the high season for an off-season getaway. 

  • Use Points

A great way to save money on flights is by using credit card points. A lot of credit cards offer sign-up bonuses that you can use to get cashback or redeem points to fund some parts of your trip! If you haven’t already, consider signing up for loyalty programs and deals that offer points and bonuses to save on travel costs. 

  • Luggage Matters

Airfare is expensive enough without having to pay extra fees on your luggage. If your baggage is too heavy, you will end up paying a large fee, which is pretty annoying. Firstly, make sure the flights you are selecting include a check-in luggage as well as a carry-on, without any extra charge. Then, be sure you don’t exceed the airline’s maximum luggage weight  and size limits. 

Extra tip: If you are a frequent traveler, you can consider signing up for co-branded airline credit cards that cover baggage fees. 

  • Consider Booking a One-Way Airfare 

This may seem weird, but sometimes, it proves to be a smart way to save money. Instead of booking a two-way ticket, consider booking one leg at a time. You may find a cheaper airline back home and save some money. For example, you can book a NYC to MIA flight ticket with one airline and then travel back home with another airline. This way, you can look around for cheaper deals, and if you find one, it’s a win for your wallet!

  • Hire a Travel Agency like Onsite

Some agencies offer vacation packages that include better deals on flight tickets and hotels as they have access to certain information like routes and rates that not everyone has. This will help you save money and time, even after considering the cost of hiring them. Hire a travel company such as Onsite and let them maximize your travel experience! 

  • Book Tickets In Advance 

Another tip to save money on airfare costs is buying your flight ticket in advance. Usually, flights tend to be less expensive when you book them at least a month before. Also, flight prices tend to go up when you search for them, so if you see a cheap deal, book it before the price skyrockets. 

  • Sign Up For Email Alerts on Discounted Fares

While airfare prices are currently high, competition is also high as many airlines are trying to get consumers back on the road. So, if you look in the right places, you might come across some good flight deals. 

The demand for travel post-pandemic and fuel costs are the main factors that led to the rise in flight costs. But don’t get discouraged, follow some of the tips above to get the best possible deals when booking your flights, and make the long-awaited vacations you deserve possible! 

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