Jun 23, 2022 - News

Flight prices are rising — here's how to find deals

Illustration of a suitcase with a dollar sign shaped arms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

This summer’s big resurgence in air travel has hit some turbulence in the form of rapidly rising flight prices.

“Flying” the news: After years stuck at home due to the pandemic, people are ready to board a plane again.

The big picture: A renewed interest in jet-setting and rising prices, including at the gas pump, are driving up costs for air travel and other forms of summer fun.

Flashback: At the same time last year, the average fare would set you back $432. Even in 2019, it was $511.

Yes, but: If you’re flexible, you can still get a flight for a reasonable price, said Kyle Potter, executive editor of travel deals site Thrifty Traveler.

  • Destinations like Phoenix, New York City, Miami and Chicago often have flights under $200, especially if you’re booking for late August and early September.
Here are some of Potter's travel tips:

Think bigger. It’s a great time to look abroad. COVID-19 restrictions made many travelers reluctant to head outside the country, but prices are now cheaper than ever.

  • A flight to Capetown, South Africa that was typically $1,500 is now $600; flights to Iceland can be as low as $500.

Book smarter. Travelers don’t need to clear computer browser cookies, book at certain times of day or learn any fancy trick to get the best price.

  • But prices will likely be lower on off-peak days like Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Check your credit card for discounts and built-in travel insurance.

Be savvy. Budget airline prices may seem like a steal. But they might not actually save you money if you need to purchase bags or insurance.

My thought bubble: I bought a $243 Delta economy flight to Las Vegas in September 2021, only three days in advance. I decided to skip this year’s trip when I saw that the same flight starts at $428.

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