Airline Flight Prices Are Up 42% From Last Year, Data Shows

The price jump was recorded by the Consumer Price Index from last September.

A woman shopping online for flight tickets on airline website with laptop, entering credit card details to make mobile payment at home

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Airfare prices have jumped more than 42% in the past year in the United States, and started to creep up again in September.

Overall, airfare rose 42.9% from September 2021 to September 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index. The rise comes as gas has also leapt 18.2% in the same time period. 

Airfare also rose 0.8% from August to September of this year, marking the first time in months airfare prices didn’t drop

The airfare price trend comes as experts have predicted holiday prices will reach the highest they’ve been in five years, especially over Christmas. In fact, domestic flights are expected to average $463 round trip for the Christmas holiday this year, an increase of 31% compared to 2019.

When it comes to Thanksgiving travel, prices are expected to be slightly cheaper. That said, travelers who haven’t yet booked their flight may want to wait until one to two weeks before the holiday to score the best deals, according to AAA. But that advice comes with a serious caveat: travelers should keep in mind waiting may also limit inventory and choice flights may not be available. 

“According to recent AAA booking data, most travelers book one or two months before Thanksgiving and still get an average ticket price. However, those who book closer to the holiday – less than a month before – get the best deals,” AAA said in a statement. “The exception is waiting until Thanksgiving week itself to buy, when the average ticket price creeps back up.”

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