Economic Insider

Airline Demand and Airfares Soar as the Holidays Draw Near

The holidays are just around the corner. Meanwhile, airlines said demand grows as simultaneously with airfares.

For instance, nonstop flights from Chicago to any trip to New York from November 22 to 27 start around $500 for round trips. In addition, airline rates from Los Angeles to Seattle begin at $500 for found trips.

While this presents bad news for travelers, the condition helps airline companies gain big during the last quarter of this year. The three largest airline corporations in the United States, American, Delta and United, forecasted record-breaking profits totaling more than $2 billion.

Airline management provides several pointers and essential information so you can smartly book your tickets this hectic Holiday season.

Demand for holiday travel is robust

Compared to last year, advance bookings for the season significantly soared. While companies did not provide any numbers, market experts predict that the volume of passengers booking flights is higher than the pre-pandemic levels. November and December show a tremendous increase.

Although tickets have become expensive, travelers quickly buy them, if only to get to where they want to be this holiday.

“It’s going to be a very strong holiday season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s,” said Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta.

Read Also: Brazil’s Presidential Election Boils Down to a Polarizing Contest Between Bolsonaro and Lula

Two years of airline delays prompted people to purchase more

“I know there are some pretty significant macro shifts in spending – out of goods and into services, which we are a beneficiary of,” added Bastian.

“After two years of delaying travel, it is clear that consumers are getting out and seeing the world. So we’re glad to see people back on the road.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Nocella, the chief commercial officer of United Airlines, noted the overwhelming strength of the holiday demand of airlines.

“We are seeing a lot of strength for the holidays or approaching the Thanksgiving time period. And our bookings are incredibly strong. However, the bookings are a little bit different this year. And they’re more spread out across multiple days than they were on any single day,” he added.

You need to buy now because prices will soar during the holidays

Lead economist of Hopper, a booking and travel app, Hayley Berg, said airlines increased ticket rates as the months passed. Some routes are already up by 40%. Compared to 2019, airfares of several routes increased by 20-30%.

“We see airfare to those top destinations, the ones with the highest demand at the holidays, are much higher than they typically are at this time of year. And they’re only going to increase from here,” Berg explained.

Read Also: Energy Crisis Prompts Countries to Invest in Clean Energy, not Climate Change

Fly on Monday before the holiday, and return days after the holidays

“We’re going to have fewer flights available and more travelers looking to go home or go on vacation for the holidays. That means that you might be paying a much higher price and unable to get a seat on the specific flight you want to take,” Berg said.

“Most travelers will want to fly a few days before the holiday and return a few days after. That means prices are those dates are going to be extremely high. And capacity is going to sell out, and airports are going to be chaotic,” she added.

However, Berg said prices seem to go down a Monday before the holiday and on the holiday itself.