Holiday airfare will be most expensive in 5 years as pandemic fears wane

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  • Holiday flights will be the most expensive in five years, Fare Tracker Hopper said Monday.
  • Strong demand and limited capacity will keep rates high.
  • Travel experts recommend being flexible and traveling on non-working days.

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If you’re thinking about flying for Thanksgiving or Christmas, be prepared to pay.

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Holiday flights will be the most expensive in five years, Fare Tracker Hopper said Monday.

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According to Hopper, the average domestic airfare for Thanksgiving trips is $350, while international round trips average $795.

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According to Hopper, domestic round trip tickets for Christmas, which falls on a weekend this year, are almost a third more expensive than in 2019, averaging $463, while international tickets are up 26% to $1,300.

Traveling on peak days, such as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or the days leading up to Christmas, always requires higher prices. Travel experts recommend being flexible and traveling on non-working days.

But Brett Snyder, founder of travel website Cranky Flier and a former airline manager, warns that cheap tickets any day this holiday season will be hard to come by because airlines have improved their control over how many seats they sell.

“Airlines are doing it much better now,” Snyder said. “Now they just fly a lot fewer flights at Christmas. If it’s cheaper, it’s not much cheaper.”

Many of the factors that have contributed to a chaotic summer for air travel — shortages of aircraft, personnel, and a learning backlog — do not ease up immediately, which will limit flying opportunities in the future. It also means that prices are likely to remain elevated, although they are no longer at their yearly peak.

Hopper’s lead economist, Hailey Berg, recommends booking your holiday no later than mid-October and said, “If you see a good price, even if it seems reasonable to you, we recommend you book.”

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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