The TSA reports they scanned more people at airport checkpoints during Labor Day Weekend in 2022 than on the equivalent weekend in 2019. So yeah, people are traveling again. Maybe not to the same places or for the same reasons but people are getting on airplanes.
This meant that for most of 2022 airfares were higher than most of us could remember. The higher airfares can be blamed on a number of reasons but they all go back to the idea that there weren’t enough seats for the number of people who wanted to fly on those planes. Basic economic principles show that when demand is greater than supply, prices rise.
Pundits have tried to determine when things would start to normalize. Since leisure travel dominates the summer and that segment is red-hot, would prices start to drop when the kids went back to school? All indications are that business travel hasn’t rebounded as quickly as many employees are still working at home, but that trend is also starting to change.
There were signs that travel bookings were slagging as airfare searches dropped dramatically over the past weeks.
I hadn’t noticed a dramatic drop in airfares for the flights I’ve been researching. In particular, I need to book positioning flights from Orlando to the west coast for our flights on Singapore Airlines.
I’ve become used to seeing one-way flights cost between $200 and $300. Imagine my surprise when I saw a sub-$100 fare for a non-stop flight to Los Angeles. The most expensive morning flight was $217.
I knew that Google Flights was showing me the United’s Basic Economy prices so I went to the airline’s website to look at the options.
Upgrading to Economy class was an additional $30, which is nothing to avoid the restrictions United puts on Basic Economy fares.
This was a recent fare drop as the prices to book with miles didn’t reflect the price for a revenue ticket, which is the rationale behind dynamic pricing.
To make the flight more comfortable, I’m hoping to pick Economy Plus seats and pay for them with the AMEX Platinum credit when it resets at the end of the year.
I’m not saying fares this low are available from all cities or carriers. But it’s nice to see prices start to get back to where it’s at least possible to find a low fare if you get lucky.
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