The Price of Fuel Could Make Flight Tickets Increase Faster Than Expected

If you’re planning on traveling soon, the earlier you book, the better.

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If you drive a vehicle or are simply watching the news, you may have noticed that gas prices are astronomically high. Fuel across all industries is more expensive, and the cost of jet fuel is putting a squeeze on airlines.

In a meeting between major US airlines on Tuesday, executives shared the impact of these changes on the industry. “We need to recapture somewhere between $15-20 each way on a ticket,” Delta President Glen Hauenstein said about price increases, according to The Points Guy. “We feel very confident that we will capture it in the second quarter.”

An increase of $15 per ticket doesn't seem too extreme, but it will come with other charges to help airlines keep profits up. Basic fares will be upsold, and as demand increases, airlines plan on increasing fares to whatever customers are willing to pay.

“Demand is key in terms of ultimately what the market will bear in terms of pricing,” Southwest Chief Financial Officer Tammy Romo said in the meeting, per the report. “When you think about pricing, that’s more a function of what customers will pay.”

Earlier this year, Hopper’s Consumer Airfare Index Report released data that projected flight prices would increase throughout the first half of 2022, peaking in the summer. That projection was largely based on the assumption that more people would return to traveling this year. That has held true so far. March 11, 2022, was the third busiest travel day since the pandemic began in 2020.

The increase in demand for flights coupled with the increase in jet fuel prices will likely reflect in the price of airfare sooner, rather than later this year. Thrillist regularly publishes the best flight deals out there, so if you want to travel this summer, keep your eye on our feed and plan to book early.

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