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Cheaper flights are finally here for travelers


Aug. 4, 2022 Yahoo! Money

The average domestic airfare per ticket will drop to $286 round-trip this month, down 25% from May when the average round-trip ticket topped $400, according to Travel booking app, Hopper’s pricing forecast released this week. The average fare should remain below $300 through September, before notching upwards ahead of the holidays.

Don’t expect air travel to get any easier as fares drop, though, with trip delays and cancellations remaining a stubborn problem. For the smoothest flight, the two key tips are timing both booking and your travel right.

“Many airlines plan to maintain capacity below 2019 levels through the end of the year to prevent future disruptions,” Andrew Heritage, senior economist at Hopper told Yahoo Money, “meaning more customers vying for fewer available seats this fall and holiday season.”

Air fares are sinking more than usual from their summer peaks in time for fall getaways. But time is of the essence when it comes to snagging a deal.

The average domestic airfare per ticket will drop to $286 round-trip this month, down 25% from May when the average round-trip ticket topped $400, according to Travel booking app, Hopper’s pricing forecast released this week. The average fare should remain below $300 through September, before notching upwards ahead of the holidays.

Don’t expect air travel to get any easier as fares drop, though, with trip delays and cancellations remaining a stubborn problem. For the smoothest flight, the two key tips are timing both booking and your travel right.

“Many airlines plan to maintain capacity below 2019 levels through the end of the year to prevent future disruptions,” Andrew Heritage, senior economist at Hopper told Yahoo Money, “meaning more customers vying for fewer available seats this fall and holiday season.”

Why prices are dropping

A dip in fall ticket prices is generally not noteworthy. Airfares typically fall between 10% and 15% as demand in late August through mid-October dips when kids go back to school, the weather gets cooler, and carriers are eager to boost travel.

“But this year’s decline from the highs of summer is steeper than usual,” Heritage said. “High jet fuel prices and pent-up demand coming out of two depressed summer seasons” pushed this summer’s airfares during the peak vacation months to abnormal highs.

Airfare for June and July averaged $357 per round-trip ticket versus $285 last year, according to Hopper data.

Currently, U.S. Gulf Coast jet fuel is $3.34 per gallon, up from $1.88 a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. In late April, the price per gallon briefly topped $5 and has hovered around $4 per gallon most of the summer. Jet fuel prices typically account for anywhere from 15% to nearly a third (30%) of an airline’s operating expenses, according to Heritage.

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