Flight Prices Saw the Highest Single-month Increase Since 1963 — Here's How to Save

April saw a record 18.6% increase in airfare, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Airfare prices rose more than 18% in the United States in April, the sharpest single month increase since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking costs, according to the agency.

In total, airline fares experienced an 18.6% increase in April, building on a months-long trend that has seen airfare prices rise 33.3% over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since 1980, according to the bureau's Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The April increase was the largest one-month increase since the bureau started tracking in 1963.

Beyond airfare, gasoline prices actually dropped 6.1% over the month after seeing an 18.3% increase in March. But gas for motor fuel has seen an overall increase over the past 12 months, rising by 44%.

"Increases in the indexes for shelter, food, airline fares, and new vehicles were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase," the bureau noted in a statement.

A traveler carries luggage while walking through terminal 2 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in Morrisville, North Carolina,
Al Drago/Getty Images

The rising prices are increasingly being felt by travelers who are seeing flights and road trips become more and more expensive. Those increases are being driven by a combination of higher fuel prices, staffing shortages, and overall high travel demand.

And the summer travel season is already upon us. In fact, the Fourth of July is expected to be the most popular summer holiday weekend for U.S. travelers this year, followed by Memorial Day — which is just weeks away — and Labor Day.

To save money, experts recommend travelers be flexible with their dates or destinations when booking flights, book early, and explore nearby airports where airline competition is higher, often resulting in a cheaper flight overall. For road trips, travelers should make sure their car is in its best shape and use the correct type of gas for their vehicle so they get the most mileage possible.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles