Unfortunately, travel isn't immune to soaring inflation. If you've been searching for flights in 2022, you may have noticed that airfares are 25-30% more expensive on average than before the pandemic. Aren't we returning to 'normal' in the post-pandemic world? Why are flights so expensive right now? Let's look at the many factors that go into questions like why flights are so expensive, why it is happening, and when the price will go down. Also, if you find searching for cheaper flights a hassle, Trip.com can take the burden off your shoulders and search for those inexpensive flight deals for you via its app, with its flexible booking guarantee, and be rewarded with trip coins.
Higher demand for travel leads to higher prices
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Rising Demand for Travel
On the one hand, the demand is more substantial than anticipated as more people can finally travel after two years of pandemic restrictions. On the supply side, airlines have around 15% less capacity than in 2019 as most airlines grounded part of their fleet and for various other reasons. Demand outweighs supply with fewer seats to sell, hence higher flight prices.
-Seasonality affects demand
Another reason why are flights so expensive for 2022 is that demand goes up and down based on many standard factors, including the season. The summer rush of 2022, enhanced by post-pandemic related reasons, pushed up airfare exponentially. But in general, traveling during the peak season will cost double, triple, or even more than their off-season counterparts. The peak travel seasons include major holidays (e.g., Christmas, New Year, Chinese Lunar New Year, and Thanksgiving in the US), special festivals or events (e.g., Cherry blossom season in Japan and the Carnival in Brazil), and school holidays. For example, you could only get time off in March and decide to fly to New Orleans for a weekend getaway. You may be surprised by the high prices due to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, even if you aren’t going for that reason.
Travel for a festival, e.g., Mardi Gras, often mean expensive flights
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Jet Fuel Prices Affect Ticket Prices
First up, there has been a higher demand for fuel and travel following COVID lockdowns. People began to travel again for work and pleasure, and businesses were slowly returning to normal with trade and distribution. The sudden increased demand puts a strain on immediately available oil supplies.
The war in Ukraine also led to why are flights so expensive right now. This is mainly due to a ripple effect on gas prices as countries put trade restrictions on oil from Russia. The cost of crude oil has increased significantly as a result. On top of that, avoiding airspace due to war and disaster makes airline tickets more expensive, as the longer the airplane spends flying, the higher the cost of fuel and labor. In addition, some airlines impose fuel surcharges to cope with rising fuel prices, further increasing the base fares.
See related: 10 Tips for How to Get Cheap Tickets
Flights and Routes Cancellations Affect Supply
Flight cancellation lead to high prices and general travel havoc
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In addition to flight cancellations, major U.S. and international air carriers, including Southwest, American Airlines, British Airways, and Norwegian Air Shuttles, have permanently cut several routes and scaled back their summer and winter flight schedules.
· American Airlines is cutting several long-haul routes this summer due to Boeing 787 delivery delays. It will also suspend 4 popular international routes and pull out of 3 U.S. cities.
· Norwegian Air Shuttle made permanent cancellation of its long-haul flight routes to 14 destinations in Thailand, the USA, and South America.
· British Airways has announced it will cut another 10,000 flights from its schedule from October 30, 2022, to March 25, 2023
· JetBlue has announced it is cutting 27 routes starting summer of 2022.
So why are airlines unable to increase flights and meet the demand for more air travel? Here are a few issues airlines are facing post-pandemic, which have resulted in flight and route cancellations, and another reason why flights are so expensive right now.
Staff shortage has been a key factor in flight cancellations
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-Higher airline operating costs
Airline financial problems could also lead to route cancellations instead of route performance. Many airlines, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, struggle financially to stay afloat. In order to keep going, canceling the existing route is one way to lower costs or restructure. Fewer routes offered means higher demand and higher prices for other routes, hence why are flights so expensive across the board.
-How to protect yourself from flight cancellations
Alternatively, you can book with confidence if things change by booking with Trip.com, protected by its 'Flexibooking Guarantee.'
When Will Plane Prices Go Down?
Post summer travel, flight prices are starting to fall
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Despite the higher than usual flight prices, the good news is that the cheap flights are still there depending on where you're going. They are just a little harder to find than before. With things bouncing back to normal, you can also expect to see some big sales in the near future.
Let Trip.com Help You with Cheaper Flights
Trip.com rewards include exclusive offers and Trip Coins
Flight prices have increased noticeably and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. There are still cheap flights, incredible deals, and promotions out there to be found. Another way to deal with why are flight so expensive is to let Trip.com do all the work and find you the perfect flight at the lowest price. Trip.com goes above and beyond to help you save money, get rewarded (Trip Coins), and benefit from exclusive member-only discounts and deals. All in all, Trip.com rewards travelers for simply using the platform.
-Earn Trip Coins and save instantly
Sign up with Trip.com and start earning Trip Coins when making flight, hotel, or other types of bookings on the site. You can spend the Trip Coins like cash for future bookings - 100 Trip Coins have a value of $1. The program is free to join, and you can also earn Trip Coins by writing hotel and attraction reviews, booking through the app (30% extra), and posting pictures of your travels.
-Book with the Trip.com app
The Trip.com travel app is an all-in-one app for all your travel needs, e.g., hotels, car rental, and flight deals to around 5,000 cities worldwide. The app allows you to filter flights by price, flight duration, travel time or airline, etc.; Get real-time flight updates; And will earn you 30% extra Trip Coins and exclusive app-only deals.
Download the Trip.com app for free and start saving instantly
-Track your preferred flight prices
Never miss out on a price cut again if you opt to let Trip.com notify you when the price code you want appears. See the flight you want, click on the flight details, track the flight, and receive a notification when the price goes down. This is a great way to solve the question of why are flights so expensive for 2022.
-Trip.com cheap flight deals and discounts
Another tip to save on flights with Trip.com is to follow the latest news and deals on cheap flights by going to Trip.com. Also, you can check out Trip.com's current promotional offers by clicking the "Deals" button on the far right of the top navigation menu.
Click the Deals button for the latest promotions and offers
-Flexible booking guarantee
To address concerns about flight cancellations, post-pandemic disruptions, and unforeseen circumstances in our world today, Trip.com has launched the "Flexibooking Guarantee" to ease your worries. If the ticket purchased on Trip.com has the "Flexibooking Protection" indication, the date can be changed or canceled for free!
Flexibooking Protection means tickets can be changed or canceled for free
Why are flights so expensive right now?
Flight prices are affected by many factors, including rising jet fuel prices, staff shortages, flight cancellations, and increased demand for travel.
Are there still cheap flights out there?
Yes, the cheap flights are still there depending on where you're going, but they are just a little harder to find than before. Book with Trip.com for instant savings and discounted tickets.
How to save money on airfares right now?
Despite the issue of why are fights so expensive right, you can still save money by being flexible with when and where you fly, exploring discount airlines, and booking with Trip.com.
What are Trip.com's Trip Coins?
Trip Coins is a reward program launched by Trip.com that offers members instant savings when they use trip.com to book airfare and hotels. 100 Trip Coins equals to 1USD.
Can I change my flight with Trip.com's "Flexibooking Guarantee"?
Yes, you can. If you bought a flight on Trip.com with a "Flexibooking Protection" indication, the date could be changed or canceled for free.