Summer flight prices are still going up: Here’s how to get a deal
Cheap Flight Tickets

Summer flight prices are still going up: Here’s how to get a deal

Summer airfare prices have gone way up, but experts predict the fall and winter seasons may offer lower fares, especially if you book now.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you’ve been bit by the travel bug this summer, you may have noticed airfares are a bit higher. 

So, are these price hikes happening because more people are traveling, or are the airlines making up for lost seats during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

On July 5, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported 2.1 million passengers checked in. That’s much higher than the 800,000 on the same day last year. Even though travel is coming back, it’s still below 2019 levels. 

What does this mean for your wallet in terms of prices? 

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For starters, prepare to pay a little more. Air travel is bouncing back and so are ticket prices. Last year saw huge dips in price, refunds were easy and many fees were waived. That’s not the case in the summer of 2021, and it could be a sign of normal pre-pandemic travel behavior. 

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WCNC Charlotte is always asking “where’s the money?” If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

“Prices are going up a little bit right now but they are a bit lower than they were pre-pandemic,” said Scott Keyes, who runs Scott’s Cheap Flights. “But they are certainly going up on average. 

Airfares and flight trends are Keys’ business as he closely monitors the industry to help folks get to their destination the cheapest way possible. 

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“I think that the increase we see in average airfares is happening because summer is always the most expensive time of year to travel,” Keys said.

Combine that with consumer confidence and rising vaccination levels (that are still short of President Biden’s goal of 70% by July Fourth) and spur of the moment travel, and yes, prices will be higher. 

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Bottom line: If you want to book holiday travel or something in the fall once school is back in session, you might find some good deals. Prices tend to be lower in October and November. They’re great months to look at getaways if you have the flexibility to take an offseason vacation.

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook.