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Why This August & September Will Be The Best Time To Fly In The U.S.

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Flight costs this summer have risen rapidly in response to increased travel demand, leaving many travelers wondering when the best time to fly may be. According to Hopper’s Late Summer Travel Index, the best time to fly is now. More specifically, flights will be more favorable from August through September. For those who have been waiting for an opportunity to get away, the next two months are likely to be the best times to snag flight deals.

Young woman listening to music and looking at phone on a plane flights

Cost of Flights

Hopper reports that airfare in the U.S. will fall to an average ticket price of $286. Compared to airfare costs in May, when fares averaged $358, this is a 25% reduction in the average ticket price. According to the analysis, average ticket prices will be $300 or less until the end of September. October and November will see prices steadily rise until reaching December’s average ticket cost of $368. For last-minute holiday flights, travelers will pay over $390 per ticket, on average. For holiday travelers, knowing which days to book for 2022 is one way to save on costs this year.

Hopper app displaying "book flights" on phone in a persons jean pocket

Are The Deals Actually Worth It?

With inflation, jet fuel prices, and rising demand, does a 25% reduction in fares really even mean anything? After all, if costs have gone up 50% since the last pre-pandemic fall, travelers would still be paying 25% more than they have in the past. Luckily, that won’t be the case for August, and September’s fares will be just slightly over 2019 figures.

overhead view of an airplane in terminal with other flights

August Fare Comparison:

               2019 Average Fare: $295

               2022 Average Fare: $286

               % Reduction: 3%

September Fare Comparison:

               2019 Average Fare: $291

               2022 Average Fare: $300

               % Increase: 3%

Young woman going down escalator with suitcase

While September’s prices will be over 2019 levels, it won’t be by much. Considering how expensive travel has become, a 3% increase isn’t too terrible. Compared to the rest of the year, 3% is a great deal.

% Increases Over 2019 Levels:

  • October: 14%
  • November: 24%
  • December: 22%

Why Are Flights Lower?

According to Hopper, it is normal for flight prices to fall from late August through the middle of October. The decrease seen in airfare this year is more significant than in years past due to the atypical peak prices seen over the summer. Travel demand over the summer has exploded, resulting in higher airfare prices and travel chaos as the aviation industry struggles to keep up. Unfortunately for travelers, it isn’t likely to end any time soon. However, the latest drop in fares could make the current state of travel a bit more tolerable for some. Demand for the end of August and September is lower as travelers who couldn’t wait any longer begin to exhaust their travel budgets. For travelers heading out over the next two months, lower ticket prices and less crowded destinations await.

What About Costs On Arrival?

Flights may be one of the most significant travel expenses, but hotels or alternative accommodations can also increase costs. Hotel rates per night for the fall are 28% higher than they were during the fall of 2019, and that number is not likely to go down. Hopper reports that hotel rates are expected to fall a little during August but then rise again in September and October. The nightly average for September and October will be around $217. The current nightly rate average is about $185 per night and may fall slightly as the month progresses.

Young Couple walking with suitcases into hotel

The Verdict

One of the main reasons people use Hopper is its 95% accurate future-flight-price prediction capabilities. Hopper’s consistency in predicting future pricing makes it a trustworthy source when trying to work out the best times to buy flights. Considering this, it can be said with confidence that August and September will be the best months to fly this year regarding airfare costs.

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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.