Airline ticket prices skyrocket ahead of spring break

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

As the vacation season approaches, would-be travelers are finding their planning costly this time around. Travelers planning a spring break vacation are gearing up for a financial challenge as airline companies are reportedly increasing their ticket prices ahead of the busy season.

A report by the travel app Hopper said domestic airfare is averaging at a price of $264 for a round trip. Prices are up 20% compared to a year ago and are averaging 5% above levels from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNBC.

Tycoons in the airline industry are benefiting from the rising prices as they continue to search for ways to make up for the higher labor costs caused by the pandemic. Frontier Group Holdings Inc. CEO Barry Biffle told CNBC that the demand for spring break travel is great news for airline companies.

“Constrained capacity is real,” Biffle said. “When you couple that in with higher costs, most notably fuel, people are willing to pay [the higher fares], and the airlines need to charge it.”

Many experts are sharing tips on how people can save for the 2023 spring and summer travel seasons. Scott Keyes, who founded the travel site Going, said that there are more travel deals available compared to last year.

For international travel, Keyes suggested a method called the “Greek Island trick.”

If travelers want to visit a place like Santorini, they should consider the option of booking their flight to a cheaper but nearby destination such as Athens, especially since deals from U.S. cities to the Greek capital can fall below $500. Later, travelers can find a more financially accessible means of transportation, such as a ferry or a local flight, to the island.

“By splitting up the trip from a single itinerary into two itineraries, you can save $1,000 or more on a big international trip, whether you’re traveling to the Greek Islands or anywhere far flung,” Keyes told CNN.

In February, Capital One Financial Corp. listed 20 best places for college students to go on spring break. Among the listed destinations included domestic cities such as Miami, Florida, and Austin, Texas. International destinations included Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

Additionally, Capital One listed five ways college students can save money on a trip during spring break.

One of the tips was planning for the trip earlier as it could help people avoid late fees or steeper prices. Students may also travel with a group of people, which can lead to group discounts and help lower the costs for the overall trip.

Another option that college students can take is to opt for an unfrequented destination, rather than popular spots like Miami.

Due to the soaring prices, some people are choosing to not travel this spring. A survey conducted by YouGov PLC, a market research and analytics firm, found that 22% of adults said they were not planning a spring break trip because it was too expensive.

Travelers can also save money on trips by avoiding flights on popular travel days such as holidays and Sundays when returning home.