Business News

Airfare will jump 20% this Labor Day, experts say

Woman’s hands holding passports & boarding passes of her family while waiting at the check-in counter in the airport
Images by Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Air travel fares may be starting to drop from their summer highs, but customers could pay the price to see family and take long-awaited vacations in the post-pandemic world, travel experts say.

Hopper predicts this upcoming winter holiday season will be the most expensive in the last five years.

Hopper anticipates 12.6 million people will fly over Labor Day weekend. Average ticket prices for the long weekend are up 20% from 2021 and 2019.

Domestic flights will cost $278 on average for a round-trip, according to Hopper data. For international flights, customers should expect to pay an average $850 for round-trip fares. International prices are up 34% from 2021 fares.

Nonetheless, Hopper said international travel is expected to make up 40% of the weekend’s air traffic, up 7% from 2021.

The most popular destinations for domestic and international bookings are Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Puerto Rico and Mexico, according to Hopper.

Hotel and gas prices are expected to add further expenses compared to 2021 travel, the agency said.

This Thanksgiving, domestic flights are currently up 31% from 2019 prices and 44% from those in 2021. The average round-trip flight is sitting at $380, a Hopper spokesperson told ABC News.

For those going international, prices aren’t jumping quite as high. Hopper reported a 23% and 25% rise in prices from 2019 and 2021, respectively. The average round-trip price is listed at $788, according to Hopper.

Looking ahead to Christmas travel, Hopper said prices are up 25% and 42% from 2019 and 2021 for domestic bookings, and up 9% and 39% from those same years for international trips.

A Hopper spokesperson told ABC News that the best time to start booking your domestic holiday travel is by mid-September into mid-October. For international trips, start as soon as possible, Hopper said, to book by the first week of October.

Some of the most searched destinations for the holidays are facing these price raises, including New York City, Orlando, Atlanta and Los Angeles, according to Hopper.

London and Paris are the top searched international destinations for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hopper said.

The high-priced holiday season comes after a summer of airline disasters, as patrons experienced delays and cancellations at high rates throughout the season as severe weather and staff shortages have defined airports across the country.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.