What's up with Airfare during the Pandemic?
We’ve had some of the same questions you’ve had around airfare and the pandemic. Mostly, “What is going on here?!”
We’ve seen everything -- from flight price dips and dramatic drops to outlandish spikes that can’t possibly make any sense (or so we thought). We found an article on Scott’s Cheap Flights that explains it all. They’re a flight tracking company, so they definitely know what they’re talking about!
Here’s what we found out…
At the Start of the Pandemic…
If you’re an avid traveler, you probably spent your hours inside gawking in amazement at how cheap all the flights to your favorite places were! There was only one problem...we couldn’t take them (or weren’t supposed to). But, that may explain exactly why we were seeing those incredible prices for both international and domestic flights.
At that point in time, many flights were still ordered to fly half-empty. We read that airlines rely heavily on the last minute flight buyers (guilty!) when projecting their prices. Many business travelers fall in this category. When COVID hit, the business traveler basically disappeared overnight, causing many airlines to decrease their flight prices significantly in order to attract other travelers.
What’s Happening Now, and Until a Vaccine…
You want to travel domestically? Easy! Flight prices are seen up to 75%+ lower than their normal rates. Why? Because that’s where the demand is! A friend of mine recently booked a roundtrip flight from NC to NYC for $43, just to hang there for the weekend. Would you book that flight?! I would!
As for international travel, finding cheap deals are few and far between. This is obviously because many people are not braving the international flight. And, really, because most borders are still closed to Americans.
What Will Happen Next, After a Vaccine…
Of course this is all a probable projection, but it’s suspected that low flights are sure to continue. This is for more reason than just the fact that airlines need to fill the flights. Flights have been inexpensive for a while now.
SCF says, “There are many economic forces causing this, from frequent flyer programs becoming money-printing machines to jet fuel (the #2 expense for airlines) becoming far cheaper than it used to be. These forces aren’t going away.”
That’s good news! This may not be the case for international flights a little while longer, though, since consumer demand for flying overseas will take longer to rebound. Once the demand reappears, more flights will be scheduled for the overseas routes, hence more awesome deals.
We’re down with that!