Flight Prices Have Already Increased 40% Since January & Will Continue to Rise

We knew tickets would be getting more expensive this year, but this number is still shocking.

Jaromir Chalabala/EyeEm/Getty Images
Editor's Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. Should you travel now, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC's latest guidance on domestic and international travel as well as local requirements, protocols, and restrictions for both your destination upon your arrival and your home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

Experts have been telling the public that flight tickets will increase for quite some time now. In January, the consensus was that prices would hit their peak in June. Earlier this month, when fuel prices were at record highs, it was expected that travelers would start feeling the effects sometime in May. But new data shows that prices have been rising dramatically since the beginning of 2022.

Hopper released a report sharing that domestic flight travel has increased costs by 40% since January. At an average price of $330 roundtrip, domestic flights are also 7% more expensive than they were at this time in 2019. At an average cost of $810 roundtrip, international flights are about the same as they were in 2019.

These flight prices, coupled with the number of travelers returning to the skies, are significant indications that airline travelers are likely to return to pre-pandemic rates. Unfortunately, the return is expected to come at a higher cost.

Based on current data, Hopper predicts that domestic flights will rise an average of 10% by May and slowly decrease in June. International flights are expected to make a big jump in average price, nearly 15%, by June. The anticipated increase in the average roundtrip flight will be $940, which is 5% more than in 2019. This mostly aligns with predictions made earlier in the year.

Travelers who booked through Hopper commonly book trips to New York, Las Vegas, and Orlando. Internationally, the top destinations are Cancun, Mexico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Mexico City, Mexico.

The key takeaways of these reports are that if you are planning to travel this year, you should be strategic about when you book. May will see higher fares domestically and internationally, and they aren’t likely to decrease by much in June. This means you should either plan on booking in April (sooner rather than later in the month) or wait until July if you want to save 10 to 15% on your trip.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.