Here's When Flight Prices Are Expected to Spike This Year

Blame Omicron, jet fuel prices, and seasonal effects.

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We've seen our fair share of travel inconveniences as of late, most recently with Verizon and AT&T's highly anticipated—and highly disruptive—5G rollout. And while ticket prices have seen record lows as of late, it's not going to stay that way. According to travel booking site Hopper's Consumer Airfare Index report, both domestic and international fares are expected to spike in the first half of 2022.

Fare prices for international flights are at an all-time low, with domestic airfares following a similar trend, the site reports. A word to the wise: Book now. Hopper is predicting ticket prices to jump by an average of 7% each month through June 2022. And yep, you've got Omicron to thank for this one.

"Prices have been especially volatile between the Delta and Omicron variant waves, swinging nearly $200/round-trip twice over four months," Hopper said in its report, noting that prices typically increase just 2% leading into the summer months.

Omicron isn't the only cause for the spike. You can also blame jet fuel, which—like everything else—is costlier than ever with a 60% increase from the beginning of 2021. Seasonal effects will also play a role.

"We usually see domestic airfare peak in the summer due to higher seasonal travel demand," the report states. "Unlike 2021, where airfare began increasing with travel demand in March with the support of the vaccine rollout, we expect airfare will begin rising earlier in February similar to pre-pandemic years 2018/2019."

Thankfully, there's some good news: Hopper is projecting a return to pre-pandemic prices around April of this year, so you still have some time to snag those summer fares. In other words, while prices will keep increasing through June, until April they will still be lower than they were in 2019.

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.