Get ready for the most expensive holiday travel season ever

Get ready for the most expensive holiday travel season ever

New York
CNN business

For travelers ready to take their first vacation trips before the pandemic: prepare for sticker shock.

Air fares have gone up. USA gas prices they are higher than they have ever been at this time of year. Prices for hotel rooms and rental cars are up 12% and 46%, respectively, from where they were in 2019.

The good news is that prices for flights, gas and hotel rooms are all down from the record highs set earlier in 2022, but are still among the highest on record for this time of year. Car rental prices alone are lower than what travelers were paying at the end of last year, although they are still far from pre-pandemic levels.

Here’s what will cost travelers more this holiday season:

When air travel came to a near halt in 2020 due to the pandemic, US airlines cut staff early retirement and purchase packages. Staffing is approaching pre-pandemic levels on most carriers, but the number of available flights and seats has not returned to those levels.

Data from aviation analytics firm Cirium show that the number of scheduled flights for November and December fell by 15% compared to the same months in 2019. Many of these previously missed flights were operated by smaller regional carriers served by smaller airports, and some of these airports have since operated. lost service completely. But despite a higher percentage of flights on larger aircraft, the number of available seats fell by 3.5% compared to the same period in 2019.

A spike in Covid cases in late 2021 dampened demand for leisure travel, but it remains strong this year, according to airlines and industry experts.

“Vacation travel is back as strong as ever, and leisure travel has recovered because of it,” said Scott Keyes, founder of travel site Scott’s Cheap Flights. “A lot of people wanted to travel for Labor Day and the 4th of July, and as we’ll soon see, Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

And that combination – high demand and tight seat supply – leads to high prices.

The average airfare has risen about 40% since 2021, with leisure travelers paying an average of $289 one-way, according to an airline tracker compiled by Wall Street analysts Cowan.

But it’s not just that tariffs are higher compared to pandemic prices.

Travel site Hopper says airfares have gone up 7% compared to the same period in 2019, and up 17% when comparing prices for booking a flight a week before Thanksgiving.

“Holiday travel is definitely more expensive than what we’ve seen in previous years,” said Hayley Berg, chief economist at Hopper.

Of course, most holiday travelers never get on a plane – they drive According to AAA estimates, 49 million will travel by car on vacation, compared to 4.5 million who fly. And gas prices for those drivers are far from over a bigger concern than air fares.

The good news is that the price of a gallon of regular gas nationwide is well below the record $5.02 reached in June. AAA reported that the Sunday average was $4.67, down 27%. And prices continue to fall: the average price has fallen by 11 cents per liter in the last week.

But prices are still 8% higher than this time last year. Gas prices are seasonally low at the end of the year, often before Christmas.

Even with the annual increase in holiday travel, the number of people driving in November and December it is usually below the summer driving season. And a host of factors are pushing oil and gasoline prices to historic highs around the world this year. These include Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to sanctions against Russian oil. US refining capacity, which fell during the pandemic, has not yet recovered.

Sunday average price of a liter of gasoline That’s 46 percent higher than the average price on Nov. 20 over the past 20 years, according to data from OPIS, which tracks gas prices for AAA.

Hotel prices are also more expensive this time of year than they have ever been. The Consumer Price Index, the government’s main inflation gauge, shows the cost of accommodation away from home hit a record high in May, and the October average, the latest available, is just 2% below that peak.

Prices have increased by 6% compared to a year ago, and are 12% higher than in October 2019. While CPI doesn’t provide average dollars for the prices it tracks, Hopper puts the average hotel room price at $189 over Thanksgiving weekend and $218. Christmas week

Once again, strong demand and tighter supply – some hotels didn’t survive the pandemic, others are still struggling to find the staff they need to fully reopen – are driving up prices.

Car rental companies they reduced their fleet In the first months of the pandemic, they had to raise money by selling cars. Automakers have yet to return to full production due to parts shortages needed to build carsincluding computer chips, it has taken some time for rental companies to meet the demand to renew their fleets.

The good news is that October’s CPI data shows that car rental prices are down 3.5% from where they were in October last year, and down 15%. Record set in June 2021. However, rental cars are 46% more expensive than in October 2019.

#ready #expensive #holiday #travel #season

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
سيتات آورج 2022 سيتات آورج 2022