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Flight prices expected to drop in the fall, but some factors could elevate prices

Posted at 12:56 PM, Aug 29, 2022

Flying this summer has meant plenty of flight delays and cancellations, but it has also meant high ticket prices.

Generally, high ticket prices subside in the fall, but travel booking platform Hopper said it will be more dramatic this year. Part of the reason is because of just how high the peak was.

The average cost for a flight this fall is expected to be near $300, more than $100 below the peak earlier this summer. Prices are still expected to be 20% higher than in 2019.

“With jet fuel prices incredibly high and no strong signals that they're going to return to 2019 levels anytime soon, airlines planning to be back at 100% of capacity next year, not this year, and overall demand for travel continuing to grow, those factors are going to keep airfare elevated at least into 2023,” said Hayley Berg with Hopper.

Berg recommends booking 3 to 5 weeks in advance this fall to get the lowest price. If you're traveling for Thanksgiving or a December holiday, plan to book by mid-October, she said.

Hopper expects holiday prices to be around $380. Berg said there are some other factors besides jet fuel prices that would bring prices down.

“Like low-cost carriers entering the market expanding their footprint (adds) more competition on routes,” Berg said. “Those are the key factors that outside of these macroeconomic drivers are going to help bring prices down. That's what drove prices down pretty much every year between 2015 and 2019.”

Hopper found that people who start tracking prices two or three months in advance of their trip end up saving about 30%.