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Relief in sight? Airfares decline slightly after months of huge increases

July 13, 2022
2 min read
Relief in sight? Airfares decline slightly after months of huge increases
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Good news: Despite soaring prices elsewhere in the economy, the price of airfare declined slightly between May and June.

The move follows significant increases in airfare for much of 2022.

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On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the cost of airfare declined 1.8% between May and June, government inflation data released on Wednesday shows. That followed huge gains of 18.6% between March and April — when airfare was a leading driver of the consumer price index's increase — and 12.6% between April and May.

Still, airfare is considerably more expensive than it was a year ago: up 34.1% from June 2021 to June 2022, on an unadjusted basis.

While any decrease is sure to be welcome news for budget-conscious flyers, some of the June decline might just be a function of the time of year.

With summer travel already in full swing, travelers are starting to look at booking flights for the fall. Fall fares tend to be less expensive than summer fares, because leisure demand is lower in the fall. Further adding to downward pressure this fall is the partial — but not full — recovery of business travel.

"Demand for travel typically slows in June, as May and June see the highest demand for summer travel," Hopper's lead economist Hayley Berg wrote last month.

More: Why are airfare and hotel rooms so expensive right now?

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The travel firm last month saw its first drop in airfare for all of 2022, in-line with this morning's CPI data.

"Airfare remains 18% higher than 2019 prices today, but is trending downward in line with trends we typically see at this time of year," Berg wrote.

On the supply side, the high cost of jet fuel is also driving higher airfares, though the price of that has come down slightly in recent weeks.

Still, Delta Air Lines, which reported its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, had a strong revenue forecast, even if airfares are coming down a bit.

"Looking forward, we are seeing demand and pricing strength carry into the late summer and fall as demand remains strong," Delta president Glen Hauenstein said during the carrier's earnings call.

David Slotnick contributed reporting.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees