Travel savings. (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / surasaki)
According to analysts at travel comparison company Hopper, U.S. domestic airfare has risen by 40 percent since the start of the year. Roundtrip domestic flights are now averaging $330, as compared to $235 at the beginning of 2022.
That’s also an increase of seven percent over 2019’s pre-pandemic pricing, making these the highest prices the company has seen since it started collecting this data. International fares are on par with 2019’s prices at an average of $810 roundtrip, but up by 25 percent from the $650 average seen at the start of the year.
The March 2022 edition of Hopper’s Consumer Airfare Index examined current airfare, airfare forecasts, the impact of jet fuel costs, top destinations for this summer and more.
Near-Term Airfare Forecast
Hopper said it expects roundtrip domestic airfare prices to remain at around $320-$330 until the end of April, but it predicts prices increase 10 percent to $360 by the end of May and remain that way through June.
The company is forecasting that international fares with continue to match 2019 prices through May, but increase by about 15 percent from present prices and exceed 2019 prices by about five percent in June, bringing the average cost of a roundtrip ticket to $940.
Where Are Travelers Going?
Based on the number of travel searches seen for late spring and early summer, the most popular domestic destinations seem to be 1) New York City, 2) Las Vegas, 3) Orlando, 4) Washington D.C., 5) Miami, 6) Los Angeles, 7) Dallas, 8) Atlanta, 9) Denver and 10) Chicago.
Among internet search users, the most sought-after international destinations were revealed to be 1) London, 2) Paris, 3) Cancun, 4) San Juan, 5) Mexico City, 6) Rome, 7) Manila, 8) Delhi, 9) Tokyo and 10) Madrid.
How Far in Advance Are They Booking?
Hopper’s report noted that travelers are continuing to book their trips close to their actual travel dates than they did in pre-pandemic 2019, given that the future course of the pandemic remains uncertain and travel restrictions could still change at any time.
It said that travelers are booking their domestic flights an average of 41 days in advance, a little sooner than the average 50 days ahead that people were booking in March 2019, but about the same as this time last year. International flights are being booked an average of 65 days ahead of time, about the same amount of lead time as in March 2021, but less than the average of 79 days seen in March 2019.
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