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CNN Business

For travelers preparing for their first pre-pandemic vacation trips: prepare for sticker shock.

Air ticket prices are much higher. US gas prices are higher than ever this time of year. Hotel room and car rental prices jumped 12% and 46%, respectively, compared to 2019.

The good news is that airfares, fuel and hotel room prices are all down from the record highs reached in early 2022, but still among the highest for this time of year. Car rental prices alone are lower than what travelers were paying at the end of last year, although they are still well above pre-pandemic levels.

Here’s what will cost travelers more this holiday season:

When air travel came to a near halt in 2020 due to the pandemic, US airlines were laying off staff with early retirements and buyout packages. Staff numbers are now approaching pre-pandemic levels for most carriers, but the number of flights and available seats has not yet returned to these levels.

Data from aviation analytics firm Cirium shows that the number of flights scheduled for November and December fell by 15% compared to the same months in 2019. Many of these missing flights were previously operated by smaller regional carriers serving smaller airports, some of however, these airports have since completely lost service. But even with a higher percentage of flights on larger aircraft, the number of available seats fell by 3.5% compared to the same period in 2019.

A surge in covid cases at the end of 2021 has dampened demand for leisure travel, but this year is positively strong, according to airlines and industry experts.

“Holiday travel has come back as strong as ever, leading to a resurgence in leisure travel,” said Scott Keyes, founder of travel site Scott’s Cheap Flights. “So many people wanted to travel over Labor Day and the 4th of July, and as we’ll see soon, Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

And that combination—high demand and limited seat supply—means high prices.

The average price of an airline ticket is up about 40% from 2021, with leisure travelers paying an average of $289 one-way, according to an Airfare Tracker compiled by Wall Street analysts at Cowan.

However, ticket prices are not only higher compared to prices during the pandemic.

Travel site Hopper says airfares are up 7% year-over-year in 2019 and up 17% when comparing prices for those who waited until a week before Thanksgiving to book a flight .

“Holiday travel is definitely more expensive than we’ve seen in previous years,” said Hayley Berg, chief economist for Hopper.

Of course, most vacationers never get on a plane – they drive. AAA estimates that 49 million will travel by car during the holidays, compared to 4.5 million who fly. And for these drivers, gas prices are a much bigger concern than airfare.

The good news is that the price of a gallon of regular gasoline nationwide is well below June’s record high of $5.02. AAA reports Sunday’s average was $4.67, down 27%. And prices continue to fall – the average price fell 11 cents per gallon in the last week alone.

But prices are still 8% higher than this time last year. The price of gas is usually at a seasonal low at the end of the year, often just before Christmas.

Even with the annual increase in holiday travel, the number of rides in November and December is usually much lower than the summer driving season. A number of factors are driving oil and gasoline prices to record highs around the world this year. Chief among them is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which triggered sanctions on Russian oil. U.S. refining capacity, which shrank during the pandemic, has yet to recover.

Sunday’s average price for a gallon of gas is 46% higher than the average Nov. 20 price over the past 20 years, according to data from OPIS, which tracks gas prices for AAA.

Hotel prices are also more expensive this time of year than ever before. The consumer price index, the government’s key gauge of inflation, showed the cost of accommodation at home hit a record in May, with the October average, the latest available, just 2% below that peak.

Prices are up 6% from a year earlier and are 12% higher than in October 2019. While the CPI does not provide a dollar average for the prices it tracks, Hopper estimates the average price of a hotel room to be $189 for the end Thanksgiving week and $218 for Christmas weekend.

Strong demand and less supply — some hotels didn’t survive the pandemic, others are still struggling to find the staff they need to fully reopen — are driving prices up again.

How far in advance should I book a flight 2022?

In the first months of the pandemic, car rental companies reduced their fleets and sold the cars they had to raise money. With automakers still not back to full production due to shortages of parts needed to build cars, including computer chips, it took time for rental car companies to rebuild their fleets to meet demand.

The good news is that October’s CPI data shows that rental car prices fell 3.5% from October last year and 15% less than the June 2021 record. Read also : The Seahawks still have a high level of interest in Browns’ Baker Mayfield, who is also open to extending it. Still, rental cars are 46% more expensive than they were in October 2019 .

Are airline tickets expected to go up 2022?

Make sure you book before the one-month mark â Expedia data shows that prices start to rise 28 days before departure. But again, as with domestic flight prices, Hopper predicts an increase in international airfares as we move through 2022 – about 5% per month through June.

How far in advance should I book a flight to get the best deal?

Will flight prices drop again in 2022? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index, airline ticket prices recently hit their biggest one-month jump in history, climbing 18. On the same subject : Best selling books of 2022 (so far).6% from March to April 2022. Since then, prices don’t seem to be dropping, either.

What is the cheapest month to fly in 2022?

Overall, airfares rose 42.9% from September 2021 to September 2022, according to the latest Consumer Price Index from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This may interest you : New Music Friday – New albums from The Game, Megan Thee Stallion, Danger Mouse & Black Thought + more. The rise comes as gas has also jumped 18.2% over the same time period.

  • Timing is important: not too early, not too late As a general rule, travelers for domestic flights should start looking for airline tickets one to three months in advance. For international flights, the best prices are usually available two to eight months in advance.
  • Cheapest days to fly 2022: winter
  • The cheapest tickets: from January 7 to February 28.
  • Cheapest day to travel: January 21.

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What day do airlines drop their prices?

Best days of the week to fly: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, followed by Thursdays.

Days to avoid: Rates are higher February 14-17 due to Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend.

Do flight prices go down at night?

When during the week do flight prices drop? According to our information: Tuesday. Most airlines seem to launch their discounts on Monday evenings, so you can pick up the best prices on Tuesday morning. You’ll typically save somewhere between 15 and 25 percent.

What time do flight prices drop on Tuesday?

How often do flight prices change per day? Airlines update ticket price information 3 times a day. They don’t have to change the prices of airline tickets all three times, but they certainly can and often do.

Do airline prices drop on Wednesdays?

It’s always a good idea to book a midnight flight. Yes, flight prices drop at midnight. The trend is that Thursday midnight is usually a great time to book domestic and international flights.

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Is Flying expensive right now?

Tuesday around midnight is the cheapest time to book, but midnight later in the week actually gets more expensive. So put the “always book at midnight” myth to bed.

The day of your departure significantly affects the prices. Searching for the cheapest day to fly usually falls mid-week on Wednesday, but can be any other day of the week depending on demand.

Why is it so expensive to fly right now?

The prices of domestic airlines are as much as 47% higher than last year. On average, major airlines (such as Southwest, Delta, United, and American Airlines) have increased flight prices by up to 47% between 2021 and 2022. Before the coronavirus pandemic, flights were more than 65% cheaper.

Why is it so expensive to fly right now 2022?

Are flight prices rising or falling? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of airline tickets increased by 42.9% between September 2021 and September 2022. And unfortunately, it looks like the increase won’t be entirely temporary.

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