Cost of a plane ticket has plummeted: Experts say book flights soon

Experts say domestic airfare for the fall is down 29% from the summer.

BySam Sweeney and Amanda Maile ABCNews logo
Friday, September 8, 2023
Why some flight fares are dropping
Experts say domestic tickets for the fall are down 29% from the summer.

The cost of a plane ticket is plummeting: Experts say domestic airfare for the fall is down 29% from the summer.

"That's about $87 per ticket less expensive than trips taken in June, July, August -- the peak summer months," Haley Berg, economist at Hopper, told ABC News.

Berg says the drop in ticket costs is in part due to seasonal price changes, but also because of an international travel boom.

"This is the first full summer where folks could head to Europe, Asia with no visa requirements that are abnormal, no COVID-related testing requirements," Berg said. "So many travelers who had been staying domestic last year and in the years prior now had new options to go international."

The change also comes as flight cancellations subside nationwide. Over the summer, airlines reported canceled flights were below 2%, showing significant improvement from last summer.

Earlier this year US officials asked airlines to cut their schedules into NY airspace where the nation's air traffic control workforce is currently limited. The reduced traffic allowed airlines to reduce delays and cancellations throughout the country.

Planning holiday travel

Experts say we are just weeks away from the ideal time to book holiday travel at the best price.

"You should be monitoring the price of your holiday travel now and expect to book in the next 4 to 6 weeks. You want to book both your Christmas and Thanksgiving travel by mid-October, but expect that prices will be the lowest between about Sept. 15 and Oct. 15," Berg told ABC.

If the end of the year is still too expensive for you, Berg said she expects the beginning of next year to be even cheaper.

"If you have one of those tighter budgets, you're thinking about travel, book something now or keep January in mind. January is absolutely the cheapest month of the year to take a trip," she said.