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Domestic Airfare To Drop 40% In Fall Months After Pricey And Demanding Summer Travel

After a summer that saw airline prices, staffing shortages, and flight cancellations abound, domestic travelers will get some much-needed relief this fall according to a new report by Hopper, the travel booking data platform.

According to Hopper, domestic airfare will drop to $286 in August, down 25% compared to May’s airfare and over 10% from July’s. Meanwhile, September and October will see drops of about 40% ($238 for a domestic round-trip) from the peak summer months.

Though that estimated price doesn’t match September 2021’s average domestic airfare of $225, it does beat out October of last year’s $240. Hopper noted this year’s August to October drop is abnormally large because of those high prices and earlier-than-usual travel demand peaks.

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International round-trip airfare, meanwhile, will decrease 19% ($179) to an average of $754 in September and October. It’s a massive drop, but unfortunately nowhere close to September ($641) and October ($706) of 2021.

Those prices are also helped by the fact that airlines are attempting to combat the slow season by offering better deals for travelers as a way to “incentivize travelers to plan one more trip before the holiday season,” Hopper explained.

“For travelers who held off on summer trips given the soaring airfares, this lower demand season can mean lower fares and less crowded tourist destinations!”

Among the most trending fall domestic destinations include Seattle ($419 average round-trip), Asheville, North Carolina ($313), Jackson, Wyoming ($460), Hilton Head, South Carolina ($315), and all cities in Hawaii ($500 and under).

As for international destinations, Sydney, Australia ($1,394), Tokyo, Japan ($1,333), Bali, Indonesia ($1,951), and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam ($1,085) are all trending with flyers looking to explore the world while capitalizing on a deal.

Unfortunately, flyers don’t have much time to take advantage. October and November will see slow rises before airfare takes a gigantic boost to $368 in December, with last-minute holiday bookings sitting at $390.

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Travelers have had to bear the burden of airline shortcomings after the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the air travel industry. According to the Bureau of Transportation, 88,161 flights have been canceled already this year, over 55,000 more than in 2021.

While the number won’t come close to 2020’s 263,941 canceled flights, it already ranks higher than any yearly total from 2013 to 2019. Toward late July, Hopper reported travel delays had risen to 25% of departures, equaling more than 5,000 flights a day. They aren’t likely to subside anytime soon.

Of course, the high prices experienced just aren’t due to the multitude of airline struggles, but inflation as a whole. Airfare has suffered the second-worst 12-month price change with 27.7%, second behind gasoline (44.0%).

Even with the potential problems, taking advantage of decreased savings before they — and the tourists paying them — begin to ramp up again in the winter could be intriguing if you’ve been itching to add one more pin to your map of America or the world.