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Domestic fares down 25% in August for fall trips, travel app finds


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Would-be travelers trying to fly this fall will probably want to book their plane trips now, with travel app Hopper reporting that airfares are dropping this month from peak summertime prices.

“September and early October will likely be the most affordable times to travel, while August and early September will likely be the most affordable times to book travel for those months,” said Hayley Berg, Hopper’s lead economist.

The app’s Late Summer (Q3) Travel Index claims that the common domestic airfare could drop as little as $286 roundtrip for bookings made in August. That is down 25% from May, when average fares topped $400, and is 3% lower than in August of last yr.

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Airfares typically dip 10% to fifteen% in any given autumn as travel demand slows. “Offering lower airfare in August and September as travelers look to fall season travel is a seasonal occurrence, consistent with the airlines’ expectations for pricing all year long,” said Berg.

But this yr’s drop is steeper than normal within the wake of abnormally high spring and summer fares that resulted from aspects corresponding to high jet fuel prices and greater-than-usual demand from a pandemic-weary public, she noted.

The common airfare for the remaining of the yr will remain at or below $300 if booked by the top of September before beginning to rise again in October and November.

“We take a look at a weighted average price, so departures in the subsequent two to 3 months will likely be weighted most heavily, [and] most travelers getting low prices in August will likely be traveling in September and October,” said Berg, explaining how Hopper determines the most effective times to purchase and fly.

Where to fly … and where to fly from

Travelers departing most vital U.S. air hubs should find good deals this month, in response to Hopper.

“Many major airports are offering lower fares this fall in comparison with 2019 to major destinations,” said Berg. “Greater than 200 to 300 destinations are priced lower this yr from Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston and Atlanta.”

From Latest York, Hopper is seeing what Berg called great domestic deals. “We’re seeing airfare to … top destinations as much as 27% lower than 2019 prices.” Sample airfares from Latest York area airports include:

International flights from major U.S. hubs which are good value include:

Do good fares outweigh airport aggravation?

OK, airfares are cheaper. But do cheaper prices compensate for all of the potential headaches travelers have been encountering when flying, corresponding to flight cancellations or delays?

Berg said flight disruptions will remain an issue, despite temporarily improving last month. Delay rates, for instance, had improved in July but then jumped back as much as 25% from 18%.

Thus, lots of the firm’s customers are taking “proactive measures to safeguard against potential disruptions,” she said, including the acquisition of trip insurance products. In actual fact, 1 in 5 Hopper clients now go for such protections when booking.

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