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Fall airfares might provide some relief for inflation-weary travelers

July 18, 2022
3 min read
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Fall airfares might provide some relief for inflation-weary travelers
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Sky-high airfares are beginning to drop ever so slightly.

Last week's inflation report showed a slight dip in airfares — 1.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was a bright spot in a report that showed inflation continuing to soar.

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The drop in airfares is mainly because demand starting to soften after a rush of bookings in the first half of the year and because of seasonality, Hayley Berg, lead economist at travel deal site Hopper, said.

"Now the fall shoulder season is typically a more depressed time for travel," Berg told TPG in an interview. "Everyone's headed back to school, back to work for the last quarter of the year. But I think we'll see that the fall shoulder season (September and October) is going to be more of a return to normal demand levels."

That's already being reflected in airfares for the fall, Berg said.

"We're already seeing relief from those super high mid-summer airfares," she said. "We're expecting that airfare...will be significantly lower than the summer peak of $410 per round trip, domestic ticket. And right now it's averaging just under $300."

Berg suggests monitoring airfares for fall trips now.

"Start monitoring now, but the very last-minute bookings, make those at least week to three weeks before you want to fly," Berg said.

Right now, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean are sweet spots — priced about 4% higher than this point in 2019. To put it in perspective, domestic destinations are about 20% higher.

Some fall deals that Berg recently found at Hopper included round-trip tickets from New York City to Miami for $185 and round-trip tickets from Boston to London for $380.

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

Prices won't fully return to "normal" until the cost of jet fuel — a top expense for airlines — decreases considerably. This year, airlines have successfully passed the surging cost of fuel onto consumers through higher fares.

It's not just Hopper seeing the decreases.

Adobe, which also tracks the cost of flights, saw a 6.4% month-over-month decrease in airfare in June, according to numbers released Monday.

Airfares are still 23.7% higher than in 2019, but after months of bank-breaking fares for flights, any drop in airfare is welcome.

Featured image by Bloomberg via Getty Images
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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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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