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Air fares seem high now, compared to last year

We got a good price last Jan. with Icelandair, to Europe, and this year the fares look much higher by about 600 or more dollars. Just wondering if other people are finding air fares to be high right now.

Posted by
5880 posts

There appears to be a variance of fares, some of which depends on which cities you're flying from and to. I have noticed some of the legacy air carriers flying out of certain markets to be priced relatively low.
It almost seems that's the case when there is competition from some of the U.S. or European budget airlines.
For example, Delta is flying from my home airport of Nashville-Boston for about $200 round trip--a bargain. They go up against Jet Blue and Southwest on that route. The same goes for some of the overseas flights.
When there's no competition, I'm seeing $1700-$1900 European flights from the center of the U.S.

Posted by
876 posts

As David mentioned, prices seem to be all over the map. I managed to get a great fare around Thanksgiving from New York to Rome. We travel late April through mid-May and paid $702 for 2 people on British Airways. I used miles to get flights from Charleston to NY and back. A couple of years ago, I found a similar deal NY-Milan and also found cheap airfare to NY. Total price for 2 was $950 on that deal. If you can find a steal from anywhere to Europe, you may be able to get a cheap fare to the US departure point like we did. I use a lot of travel tools to find the deals, including blogs, email lists and Google flights. We are "empty nesters" and I know my work schedule pretty far in advance so we have a lot of flexibility as to when we travel. Out of curiosity, what is your home airport?

Posted by
815 posts

I agree that fares are all over the place. In September 2018 I purchased tickets on Delta for Boston-Paris round trip for $492 (including checked bags and advance seat selection). This trip is for mid-April to early May 2019. This is the lowest price we have ever paid since we began traveling to Europe in 2004.

People have posted high fares on this forum, mostly from cities other than major gateways such as New York, Boston or even the west coast.

One determinant of low fares may whether or not Norwegian Airlines offers flights from a particular city.

Posted by
799 posts

Yes, the Norwegian Factor... Now that they are switching from Oakland to SFO for their London flights I would expect the other airlines to drop their prices substantially.

Posted by
4150 posts

The price of jet fuel is substantially higher than it was last year (about 36% higher than one year ago). This is, at least in part, why some air fares are higher. Don't be too surprised if this upward trend continues.

Hint: During the past few years, jet fuel prices have been extremely low. IMHO it's not realistic to expect those low fuel prices going forward, with airlines making adjustments as you can guess. The super-cheap fares of the past few years, in part driven by unusually (many would say, unsustainably) cheap fuel, are probably an anomaly and I wouldn't expect the same thing going forward long term.

Silver lining: Maybe that'll cut down on some of the crowding at your favorite destinations?

Posted by
867 posts

BA is my favorite airline. In 2017, I booked a RT for BOS to FCO for about $550 on BA - straight through. Free checked bag up to 51 lbs. Carry on up to 51 lbs and a personal item - about 16" allowed. Generous for those who pack a ton. Meals and snacks served free. Seat chosen - no problem.

I noticed in January 2018, the fares fluctuated, but on the higher side. I kept checking almost daily. In early April 2018, BA had a flash sale - same flights, same pricing as 2017. I booked immediately. About a day or so later, I checked for the heck of it - fares went way up again.

This month, I checked BA - flights are low outbound, but the inbound is crazy high. Perhaps as the months roll on, maybe pricing will improve for the better. We'll see...

But, as the above poster wrote: fuel increased a lot. So, if you're not traveling until the latter part of this year, keep checking for deals on your favored airline.

Posted by
78 posts

I agree the prices seem to have increased. We are flying out of Tampa to London late April for $600.00 before seats. There was a 420.00 but did not include bags. British charges 120.00 per bag and my husband was convinced our flight would be a different experience with the 400.00 ticket so I went with the 600. I could just smack myself for listening to him! Last year at the same week we flew from Miami to Paris total out the door for 428 a person. I like to stick with American/British Airlines.

Posted by
11259 posts

On 28 April 2018 I flew Br Air in Basic Economy r/t OAK to Gatwick for $500. The return flight was on 7 June, also in Basic Economy. It was the best price I had for a trip duration into early summer since 1973 with TWA, SFO to Orly, r/t in Economy.

Posted by
112 posts

Our home airport is usually Portland. We also are trying to depart mid or late July, and be there for most of August. This is probably more expensive than many other times, but this is the time we need to go. The fuel prices may explain a lot of this. We went the same time last year, and got tickets for under 1,000 with Icelandair.
I appreciate the different postings here to get further perspective on this.

Posted by
121 posts

Yes, fares are higher because some types of 737s have been taken out of commission, Brexit may affect ability for Brit pilots to fly to EU nations (see the many BBC stories on topic) and carriers are cutting back on international routes due to new economic restrictions.
We spent nearly a week trying to book one of our trips back to Edinburgh and almost everything is booked through October.

Is interesting that European press covers shortage topic frequently but nothing in news in USA about shortages for availability of flights to Europe in 2019.

Posted by
2340 posts

Is interesting that European press covers shortage topic frequently
but nothing in news in USA about shortages for availability of flights
to Europe in 2019.

To which European cities is there a shortage of flights from the US? Which airlines have cut back European service?