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Air travel expected to be pricey this holiday season due to demand, other factors

Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 24, 2022

More than half of Americans plan to travel for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both this season, according to travel app Hopper.

Almost half of holiday travelers plan to fly, according to the annual PwC holiday outlook.

“If you go on the road, you’re still facing higher gas prices at the pump than you probably were last year,” said Laurie Garrow, a travel behavior expert and president of the Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies. “So it's really a trade off between which one you feel is better for your situation.”

Due to the demand, travel app Hopper said airfares will be at their highest in five years.

“While we’re getting planes back in the air, we’re getting staff rehired, there's basically more people that are flying and want to fly, and fewer seats available right now. So that's putting upward pressure on fares as is inflation, higher wages, supply chain issues, etc.,” said Garrow.

For Christmas, domestic airfare is currently 39% higher than last year, according to Hopper’s report earlier this year.

Experts say if you haven’t booked a flight yet, there are some tips to keep in mind.

“Try to avoid the Sunday right after Thanksgiving. That tends to be one of the busiest travel days of the entire year and when fares are highest,” said Garrow. She also said booking morning flights will help in terms of running into less issues with delays or cancellations.

Hopper recommends planning your travel as soon as possible, and to be flexible with your travel dates.

Garrow said it’s important to consider the whole cost of the trip as well.

“The airfare is just one piece of it. There's other components facing this inflationary pressure where other things have gone up in price as well,” she said.