Experts advise booking holiday travel sooner than later as flight costs continue to climb

Experts expect travel costs to reach levels higher than recent years for a multitude of reasons come holiday season, suggesting that people should jump on booking as soon as possible as ticket prices continue to rise. 

“Since last year the flights have just blossomed in price,” said travel expert John DiScala. “It’s crazy how high they are.”

Travel industry experts have indicated an increase in demand for flights, even amidst the inflation affecting many of the nation’s industries. They’re calling it “revenge travel,” referring to the renewed desire to hit the road or skies after years of suffering through the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to Hopper, the online travel agency, ticket prices are expected to reach prices that they haven’t seen in more than five years. They’re showing drastic increase in costs for the coming holidays. 

Compared to pre-pandemic numbers in 2019, tickets for Thanksgiving travel are up $350, or 22%, while Christmas travel costs have jumped 31%, or $463.

“If you can buy your tickets before mid-October, you should be able to find a pretty good deal. If you wait, after that, every day it’s going to go up and up,” DiScala said. 

He noted that despite the increased demand, some airlines have actually been forced to reduce the number of flights due to shorthanded staff situations in the wake of the pandemic, when a large number of employees retired, switched industries or were furloughed. 

As a result, flights are packed to the brim.

“Every flight I was on, we’re really, really jam-packed,” said Sarah Holdren, a traveler at LAX. “Every seat taken.”

DiScala said the lack of staff could also cause extensive delays to airport operations. 

“You also want to try and avoid checking a bag, because that’s gonna add time on both ends,” he said. “There’s not enough staff so you’re gonna wait longer.”

While experts suggest that LAX sports some of the lower prices in the Southland, travelers heading through the nation’s fifth-busiest airport will pay in other ways, due to ongoing construction causing congestion and long wait times at security, baggage claim and check.

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