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Holiday plane tickets will be the most expensive in 5 years as pandemic fears fade


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Allen J. Schaben | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

If you plan on flying over Thanksgiving or Christmas, be prepared to pay.

Holiday flights will be the most expensive in five years, Hopper said Monday.

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The average domestic airfare for travel over Thanksgiving is $350, and international round trips cost an average of $795 — both mark a 22% increase from 2019, before the pandemic, Hopper said. .

Domestic return tickets at Christmas, which falls on a weekend this year, are almost a third more expensive than in 2019, averaging $463, while international is up 26% at $1,300, according to data from Hopper.

Traveling on days of high demand, such as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or the days leading up to Christmas, always results in higher prices. Travel experts recommend flexibility and travel outside of the busiest travel days.

But Brett Snyder, founder of travel website Cranky Flier and a former airline executive, warns that cheap fares could be hard to come by any day this holiday season as airlines have improved their screening. on the number of seats they sell.

“Airlines are so much better at it now,” Snyder said. “Now they just fly a lot less on Christmas Day. If it’s cheaper, it’s not much cheaper.”

Many of the factors that contributed to a chaotic summer for air travel – a lack of planes, personnel and a training backlog – do not immediately ease, which will limit flying capacity in the future. It also means that prices are likely to remain high, even if they are already off the highs of the year.

Hopper’s chief economist, Hayley Berg, recommends booking holiday travel no later than mid-October and said: “If you see a good price, even a price you think is reasonable, we recommend Reserve.”

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