Back in 2020, travel experts first started using the phrase ‘revenge travel’ to refer to the money people would be willing to spend on rebooking travel canceled by the pandemic once travel seemed safe. And it looks like that money might be needed; if you don’t already have airline tickets in hand for this summer’s travels, you may be stunned when you log on and look at how airfare has skyrocketed.
Earlier this year, as reported by Thrillist, prices rose the most in a single month than they had in the previous six decades! And now, a report released by CheapAir.com shows us that lowest domestic airfare has increased by 26 percent since 2021 — and the highest price hikes are affecting smaller metropolitan areas like Dayton, Ohio. CheapAir.com crunched the data from 128 million airfares in April across various US cities to learn that while there is big demand for flights, airlines are still struggling to meet capacity, which filters down into the price we pay for booking.
Dayton’s astronomical 42 percent increase in pricing for an average domestic ticket ($109 more than last year) bears out that difference. Dayton hosts five airlines and moves 1 million passengers annually, but it’s a smaller airport that lands at #103 on a list of the US’s most busy airports. The next two cities on the list of those with the greatest increase in airfares this year are Greensboro, North Carolina, and Flint, Michigan, each with a 38 percent increase. Next is Des Moines, Iowa, at 36 percent; and Spokane, Washington at 35 percent. Four cities all increased by 34 percent: West Palm Beach, Florida; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Akron and Cincinnati, Ohio. Grand Rapids, Michigan experienced a flight rate increase of 33 percent.
In the large cities, rates were more stable. Manchester-Boston Regional airport had the lowest fare increase, with only 14 percent added since last year’s rates. Next in order came Houston, Texas at 15 percent, and San Juan, Puerto Rico at 16 percent. New York-Newark and San Francisco rose by 17 percent, while Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. rose by 19 percent. Rounding out this list were Chicago, Illinois and Tampa, Florida at a 20 percent increase, and finally, Denver, Colorado at 22 percent.
What can you do to save money when facing these prices? Book early, experts say, and be willing to drive to another, more populated city’s airport.