Holiday Travelers Paying Much More for Airfare

Passengers at the airport | Image by Shutterstock

As the holiday season kicks into full swing, passengers can expect to pay higher prices as airlines hike the cost of airfare in anticipation of increased demand.

When Fort Worth resident Nick Do ordered his plane ticket for the upcoming holiday, he had a moment of sticker shock when the total cost appeared during checkout.

“I bought mine about a month in advance,” Do told NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. “Definitely paid a lot more than I normally do to visit home, but nonetheless, I had to do it anyway.”

Holiday travel demand has led to a nearly 40% annual increase in round-trip airline tickets. In addition, holiday airfare is expected to reach the highest point in roughly five years, according to the price tracking platform Hopper.

Other hopeful travelers have also noticed the higher costs of boarding a plane this year.

Abe Mendez is planning a return trip from Dallas to El Paso for Christmas, but has reservations about the premium prices the airlines charge.

“If I’m going back to El Paso, $500 is very steep. I can probably fly out to California or New York for just $500,” Mendez told NBC 5 DFW.

Considering the airline industry is still reeling from multiple post-pandemic issues, industry experts expect the elevated price of airfare to stick.

One Michigan-based couple flew into Dallas this year to get a taste of something more than the traditional Thanksgiving: the classic holiday Cowboys game.

“We planned about two months ago,” said Linda Reid. “I always wanted to come here for Thanksgiving Day in the new stadium.”

Even though the Reids claim that watching America’s team beat the Giants 28 to 20 on Thanksgiving was worth the elevated airfare price, they also said there was a definite limit to what they were comfortable spending for a plane ticket.

“I think $1,000 probably would’ve been too much for a ticket,” Linda said. “We wouldn’t have done that.”

The average price for a round-trip flight during Christmas is currently hovering around $463, according to Hopper.

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