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Delta Says Flights Will See Record Breaking Price Increases This Summer Up To 30 Percent

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Delta Airlines CEO, Ed Bastian, has suggested air fares will increase by up to 30% in the summer months. With rising fuel costs, rising demand, and the end of the COVID-19 pandemic—travelers are witnessing rising air fares in the United States and the rest of the world. 

When speaking to investors, Ed Bastian said: “We expect pricing this summer to be up probably somewhere between 25% and 30% on average,”

He added: “We’ve never seen anything of that scale.”

According to statistics, airfares in the United States are up by 25% in the previous 12 months. In fact, airfares jumped by a staggering 16.8% in April alone. 

So what should travelers do? Read on to find out!

What Has Delta Airlines Said and How Will It Affect Travelers? 

Delta Airlines has predicted its revenue in Q2 will be back to pre-pandemic levels for the first time, even with fewer flights than in 2019. They expect their revenue to be up 8% more than previously expected. 

So this is good news for the airlines, right? 


But it’s not great for travelers like me and you. 

The rising fuel costs are due to soar up to 22% above 2018 levels on a per-seat basis, which is more severe than the mid-April forecast of 17%. In addition, many airlines are contending with staff shortages that sometimes require higher worker pay.

As a result, Delta Airlines are raising flight prices to make up for the increased fuel costs.

Although thousands of travelers are complaining about the rising airfares on social media, many airline executives are reluctant to say it’ll deter travelers from traveling this year.

Speaking at the same event, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, said: “It you’re worried about pricing destroying demand, you are betting against history,” 

He suggests air fares are only back to where they were in 2014 after adjusting for inflation. 

Helane Becker, Senior Research Analyst at Cowen, told Bloomberg TV on Monday: “We're worried about September and what happens in the fall. Avgas prices are going up and up. Airlines are finding labor costs are going up, fuel costs are going up, airport costs are going up. They are facing huge inflationary pressures and need to raise ticket prices and at some point, the consumer is going to say ‘okay, we've done our travel, and we're done, we cannot (afford) to fly again,”

What About International Travel? 

For the most part, the increased domestic demand in the United States is driving the rise in flight prices. Although some Americans are traveling overseas after the COVID-19 pandemic—numbers are still down on pre-pandemic levels.

Therefore, international airfares purchased in the United States remain down on pre-pandemic levels

So travelers can still find excellent deals of flights to Europe, South America, and even the Caribbean or Mexico.

Americans looking to travel within Europe will face the same issues with flight prices. According to Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary, flight prices in Europe may increase to a “high single-digit per cent.”

He said: “It seems to us that there will be higher prices into that peak summer period because there's so much demand for the beaches of Europe and those price rises going to continue,”

Ryanair Airplane Boeing 737-800

The Fast Travel Rebound: How This Affects Travelers

Travel has returned back to pre-pandemic levels within North America in 2022, which is faster than many economists and travel experts expected.

In turn, this has enabled airlines to raise prices for travelers. 

However, despite the sharp rebound, travelers are witnessing enormous waiting times and issues at airports due to airlines failing to prepare for the massive travel rebound. 

There is also a massive shortage in pilots in the United States. Delta Airlines recently trimmed its summer schedule by up to 3% to enable more time between flights and a smoother service in light of the recent issues. 

Final Thoughts 

Don’t let the rise in prices put you off traveling in 2022. There are still excellent flight deals out there—especially to Mexico and Europe. 

Yes, flights are skyrocketing in the United States. But with the world finally reopening, now might be the best time to travel overseas.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Saturday 1st of April 2023

Airline prices have almost nothing to do with fuel prices. If they did, I wouldn't have to drive two hours away to take a flight back to my airport and then to my destination on the same flights I would have originally taken to save over a thousand dollars. Delta is just like any other big company, their job is to drain every last dime they can out of you for as little amount of service as they can give you. They will lie about the reasons if they think you will believe it.

Carl Radle

Wednesday 15th of June 2022

It's hard to take the analysis of Helane Becker, Senior Research Analyst at Cowen seriously if she refers to airline fuel as AvGas. AvGas is the name for fuel generally used in non-jet light airplanes (think legacy Cessna 172s etc. built mostly from 1950s to 1980s) which is 100 octane gasoline and contains lead. Airlines use an entirely different fuel similar to kerosene - "Jet A". No one in the industry in my 27 years would use the the terms interchangeably, it would make you sound like you don't know what the heck you're talking about. It's like saying cruise ships run on the regular unleaded that fishermen get as fuel at the local marina - they're entirely different fuels and markets. The two fuels have entirely different ranges on the crude oil distillation stack and their markets are tied to different competing fuels (kero is tied to home heating oil market, AvGas laps against the auto fuel market). The AvGas market is about 0.5% of the kero market and have completely different customers (recreational flying vs. airlines, cargo, military, biz jets) , so they don't have much in common other than general transportation trends.


Monday 13th of June 2022

No mercy. They all fired unvaccinated staff. Maybe it s time to realize it was the wrong choice.


Saturday 11th of June 2022

At the same time as other airlines are offering ridiculously cheap flights. Huh. Delta isn’t what it was, so no reason to be loyal to them anymore.