It is no secret that airline ticket prices have been on the rise in the recent past. But what has caused this trend, and will it continue?
Several factors affect airline ticket prices, but the current spike could be attributed to some specific special events and market factors.
The cost of fuel, for instance, plays a major role in influencing airfares. This, coupled with higher travel demand across the globe, has seen the cost of airline tickets soaring in recent years.
So, let’s look closely into some of these factors and see whether this is just a temporary problem or something that is here to stay.
Are Flights Really Expensive Right Now?
There is no doubt that flights are currently expensive. With the ongoing crisis in Europe and other oil-producing nations, jet fuel prices have been on an upward trend, forcing airlines to increase their ticket prices. Furthermore, after two years of the pandemic, people are eager to take their long-delayed trips, resulting in increased prices due to high demand.
Average Airline Ticket Price 2023
As of today, airfare index by consumers shows that there has been an increase of 40% in prices for domestic flights this year.
Generally, airfare has increased from an average of $235 at the beginning of the year to $330 round trip to date. By mid-year, a round-trip domestic flight price could increase by another 10 percent to $360.
In addition, international flight costs are around $810 round trip, a 25 percent increase over the average of $650 at the beginning of the year. These prices are expected to reach $940 round trip by mid-year.
Why is it Expensive to Travel Right Now?
If you’ve been considering air travel lately, you’ve probably been shocked by the prices being offered. So, why are flight prices skyrocketing right now? The following will help you understand what causes flight prices to increase.
1. Ticket Prices are affected by Fuel Prices
In recent years, oil prices went through a massive dip due to the pandemic. This, in turn, led to a significant drop in jet fuel prices. However, after travel restrictions were lifted last year, jet fuel prices have been rising due to high oil demand.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated things further, leading to all-time high fuel prices due to geopolitical instability.
2. High Demand Leading to Fewer Cheap Flights
Like any other product, flight prices are also determined by the law of supply and demand. If more customers want to fly, airlines can charge higher prices.
We have seen this trend more recently after airlines started growing again since more people are flying again after coming from a two-year restriction period due to the pandemic.
3. Safety and Conflict Zones
Most airlines are currently avoiding Ukrainian and Russian airspace due to the ongoing conflict. The rerouting has major financial effects on flights to countries in the far east.
Afghanistan airspace is also not accessible since last summer, making it more challenging to reach Indian Ocean destinations.
The flights are forced to make a large detour to avoid the mess, which leads to several additional hours of flight time and fuel usage. The result; the consumer is forced to pay more for the flight ticket.
4. The Rise and Fall of Low-Cost, Long-Haul Carries
During the heyday of trans-Atlantic travel, people could book ultra-low-cost airlines for less than $100 each trip. This is why major full-service airlines resorted to slashing their airfares to compete.
The loss of competition caused transatlantic fares to increase when it was no longer possible to operate those airlines due to unsustainable business conditions followed by the pandemic.
5. Business Travelers Influence Flight Prices
You’ll be surprised how significantly this impacts economy travelers. The number of business travelers on a flight affects the money the airline makes and, therefore, how much the airline charges everyone else.
If a flight consists of few business travelers, the airline is likely to charge the economy travelers more to cover their expenses.
Most Expensive Domestic Flight in the USA
Usually priced at an average of $223, Atlanta to Key West is the most expensive domestic flight in the country.
It mainly relates to feeding the hub, and thus it’s influenced by hub economics. Most travelers pay higher fares to compensate for less-profitable connecting travel in hubs.
Most Expensive Flight Destinations
Here are the most expensive flight destinations, based on the average ticket price, and additional costs such as luggage rentals, and ride-hailing services.
Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, is arguably the most expensive local flight destination. This is from a survey carried out by The Points Guy. Moreover, the airport’s baggage rental fees and parking fees are some of the highest-priced in the country.
Dubai ranks high among the most expensive international flight destinations with an average cost/60 mi of 200$. This is mostly influenced by the fashionistas, celebrities, VIP business people, and Hollywood stars who fly there regularly.
For $30,000 one can travel in fully partitioned private suites, have individual minibars, flat-lay mattresses, vanity tables, and even use on-flight spa facilities.
Are Flight Prices Going to Come Down?
Airline fuel costs account for more than 30 percent of operating costs, which are usually passed on to passengers in the form of higher ticket prices.
If the current conflict in Europe (Ukraine-Russian war) prolongs, we may see further price increases in airfares.
How to Find Cheap Flights
Airlines offer hundreds of amazing deals, including special promotions and slashed fares to compete with other airlines. You can make your dream trip a reality with cheap fares.
Here are some tips for finding cheap flights worldwide.
Target Off-Peak Days
Flying during peak seasons, such as the weekdays and holidays, increases the cost of airline tickets. In a nutshell, it is more expensive to fly on the days when everyone else is flying.
Have Flexible Travel Plans
Another way to find a cheap flight is by being flexible with your travel plans. To use this method, find out how much it will cost to fly directly to your destination.
From there, make use of Google Flights and search for prices for airports in nearby cities. This will significantly help you to reduce the airfare to your primary destination.
Look Out for Special Deals
Ensure you are signed up for some airline or travel agency newsletters. You can get the most current deals by joining mailing lists for airlines and last-minute deal websites.
It’s likely that most of these deals won’t match your itinerary, but keeping an eye on them may give you the best chance of finding an amazing deal.