If one hasn’t booked spring break travel, do it now, according to travel app Hopper. Ticket prices are already rising as people enter the busy travel season, as demand continues to outstrip capacity.
Hayley Berg, chief economist at travel app Hopper, told FOX Business that demand has already driven airfares 10% to 30% higher on average compared to pre-pandemic times, and it doesn’t seem like that he is letting up either – even with the highest number. than usual prices.
Not only that, but more travelers are choosing to purchase trip protection and travel insurance, which is only adding to their overall trip cost.
As of Monday, the continued surge in travel demand has driven prices for domestic air travel in March and April to an average of about $270 per ticket, Berg said.
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That’s already about 20% higher compared to 2022, when airfares were still quite depressed. However, it is only 5% higher compared to pre-pandemic times, according to Berg.
Still, the sticker shock for travelers who looked at prices or got away at the last minute last year is “very real,” she said.
“Prices are much higher than what they saw last year or the last three years,” Berg continued.
In fact, prices to the most popular spring break destinations, such as Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, compared to 2022 and pre-pandemic times are up “significantly,” Berg said.
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For example, Europe is up around 15% compared to 2022, although that is well below areas such as the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, which are up around 60% compared to last year and about 30% compared to 2019.
In the first few weeks of June, prices are expected to peak at an average of $350 for a domestic flight. That’s the highest it’s been in the last five summers, apart from 2022 when prices averaged $400.
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Berg warned that airfares are likely to remain high until more low-cost carriers enter the market and jet fuel prices ease as well as supply increases.
“The good news is that there are some carriers that are offering better prices or at least … prices in line with what we’ve seen historically because they have more capacity than they used to,” she said.
Berg’s advice is to book as far in advance as possible, which travelers are not doing. Hopper noted that travelers are booking two weeks closer to their departure dates for domestic trips and five weeks closer to international trips compared to pre-pandemic times.
“If you don’t start monitoring prices or even … looking at possible travel dates until two months before your trip, you won’t have a low price,” she said.