The cost of airline tickets has been dropping for years and the average fare is now below COVID, but that doesn’t mean it won’t go up again. These prices vary depending on market competition, demand, supply and other factors so there’s no telling when prices will rise or fall in the future.

The “will flight prices go down after covid” is a question that has been asked many times. The answer to this question, is still unknown. However, it seems as if the average airfare will stay lower than pre-COVID for now, but not forever.

Average Airfares Still Lower Than Pre-COVID, but Not Forever

It’s National Plan for Vacation Day, and travelers would be well to take advantage of it for a variety of reasons. One of these seems to be the fact that, on average, airfares are still lower than pre-pandemic levels. They will, however, continue to rise when travel makes a return in 2022.

According to the most recent ValuePenguin analysis, average travel prices are still about 20% cheaper than they were before to the COVID-19 epidemic. The average cost of a plane ticket in the fourth quarter of 2019 (the final complete pre-pandemic period) was $373.34. However, by the second quarter of 2021 (the most recent statistics available), the average ticket price had dropped to $299.93.

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According to TSA data, the number of travelers inspected on April 13, 2020—one month after the worldwide breakout of COVID-19—was the lowest in pandemic-era history, with less than 90,000 people screened that day. Individuals began traveling again in 2021, and by January 2, 2022, more than 2 million people had passed through TSA checkpoints in a single day.

When COVID-19 arrived and brought air traffic to a stop, decimating the airline business, fares dropped dramatically. However, when demand for air travel recovers, lower airfares are going to become a thing of the past. Despite this, ValuePenguin discovered that average flight rates are still lower than they were before COVID at 98 of the top 100 airports in the United States.

The two U.S. airports with the highest passenger volumes and where ticket price has already returned to pre-pandemic levels are Kahului Airport on Maui and Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport near Keahole on the Big Island of Hawaii, both of which are in Hawaii.

In contrast, the two U.S. airports with the lowest average cost of leaving flights are Newark International in New Jersey and Pensacola International in Florida, where flying out costs customers 30 percent less on average than it did before COVID. Newark International, on the other hand, came in #1 in another ValuePenguin analysis of the country’s worst airports.

“After almost two years of airlines trying to remain afloat, it adds up that most domestic airports are keeping flight fares low to promote domestic travel,” said Sophia Mendel, ValuePenguin credit cards and travel rewards writer. Despite the current epidemic and any developing varieties, she forecasts that air travel demand and cost will continue to climb in 2022. “Fully vaccinated and boosted passengers who take the required measures believe their chance of catching COVID-19 while traveling is reduced, and hence are more comfortable flying,” she added.

ValuePenguin researchers calculated average airfare costs based upon data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Passenger Origin and Destination (O&D) Survey. The figures (detailed here) have been adjusted for inflation and are based on domestic itinerary fees, including taxes and fees.

The “will flight prices go down in 2021” is a question that has been asked for years. The answer to the question is still not clear, but it seems like airfares will continue to drop until there is a major change in the industry.

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