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Experts predict airfare will remain high in 2023

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Posted at 10:09 AM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 12:41:39-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The average price for an airline ticket in the United States in November 2022 was $280, about 35% higher than November 2021, according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

November’s average price was down from May 2022 when the average price for a domestic flight hit an all-time high of $336.

But increases in airfare well outpaced general inflation.

Travel experts predict airfare will remain high in 2023, with some forecasts saying prices will drop by September or October once the summer travel season ends.

Higher prices can be attributed to:

  • High demand
    • Travelers are eager to make up for lost adventures due to COVID-19 restrictions, particularly on international travel.
  • High price of jet fuel
  • Staffing shortages
    • Airlines are struggling to hire pilots, mechanics and other staff after some chose early retirements in 2020.
  • No wiggle room
    • Some airlines are still recovering from 2020 financial losses, so they don’t have wiggle room in pricing to eat inflation.
  • Airplanes on backorder
    • Manufacturers dealt with supply chain issues and disruptions at factories during the pandemic, pushing back production of new aircrafts.

“It’s kind of disheartening. We like to travel and we want to come to Kansas City and watch the Chiefs play,” said Billy Gates, who flew to KC from Maine to attend the Chiefs' game against the Broncos.

Gates and his son used hotel points to stay in Kansas City a few days after the New Year’s Day football game because flights were cheaper later in the week.

“We saved $400 apiece by staying the extra time,” Gates said. “If we would’ve left on the second [of January,] it would’ve been almost $600 dollars apiece.”

Austin Bechler also looks for deals on airfare.

He said he’s booked a business class seat in the past because certain airlines include perks like free checked bags or free alcoholic drinks on the plane with the upgrade which offsets costs he was going to spend on checking bags anyway.

“You get a little bit extra accommodations for the same price,” Bechler said.

In November, KSHB 41 News published seven travel hacks to save money on airfare.