Summer Airfare Prices are Cheap (But Maybe Not for Long)

As people all over the country get fully vaccinated and have the CDC’s okay to travel again, they’re starting to put plans back in action. Post-pandemic trip planning is in full swing, with domestic summer travel plans really starting to heat up.

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Cheap Summer Flights

A quick look at the CheapAir Summer Flights page tells quite a favorable story for travelers right now. Airfares are lower than typical, and you can get a good deal on flights for most of the summer. Usually, June and July are quite expensive compared to late August on into September, but right now the difference between the lowest average fare and highest average fare is less than $100 in total.

That’s fantastic news for travelers, but we urge you to buy early, rather than wait until later since fares are only going to rise. There are a couple of contributing reasons for this. First, this phenomenon is almost always the case. Fares stay in the “reasonably-priced zone – what we call the prime booking window) for a time, and then usually see a steep increase as we get closer to the travel date.

Challenges for Air Travelers

Next, while the jury is still out on how many aircraft and routes will be at full capacity this summer, we know that the airlines had sharply cut both to deal with pandemic flight demand. At some points during the height of the pandemic, flight demand was very low. Even though the airlines are now staffing back up and getting more restricted routes back online, the demand for travel may outstrip the available flights. If and when this happens, shoppers will generally see a spike in airfare – and depending on the destination – could give you some serious sticker shock.

A lot of our airlines also issued vouchers when people canceled flights during the height of the pandemic. Some of those vouchers start to expire in 2021 (about 55% of those issued in 2020). People will want to use the credit before they lose it. Book that flight now so you don’t compete with those ticket holders!

Finally, Europe is a popular summer destination in most years. This year, there are a lot of places still closed to American (as of this date’s publication). It’s unclear how prepared European destinations will be for tourism crowds as they struggle to bring their own vaccination plans online. Because of this (and also because many Americans might like to stay closer to home this year), we can expect the demand for domestic flights to be high.

Protecting Your Price

Not everyone agrees that fares will spike. You may read some news articles that say the opposite – that fares may stay very low because of the competition between airlines. We have a feature that we think can help you out in this regard as well. It’s called Price Drop Payback and what it means (in simple terms) is that if you buy a ticket from us and the fare price goes down, you can get your money back.

This is not a special promotion that will go away at some point, but rather a feature of our customer service promise to you. We like to give you a little peace of mind. If you buy a flight from us and the fare goes down, we’ll issue you a credit back (up to $100 per ticket) for future travel.

Not quite ready to buy just yet but feel intrigued by the idea of a summer trip? Check our Summer Flights page in the next couple of weeks. We’ll be sharing more awesome destination content and even some of the best fares we find to different cool destinations. In fact, if you’d like to hear about specific vacation spots or routes – let us know in the comments below. Maybe we’ll feature your vacation destination next!

Shop for Summer Flights


  1. Hi, I am one of those people that booked a flight with you in December and had to cancel due to covid. I have a 195.00 credit on United that I’d like to use June 10, 2021. I already booked a flight just to hold it but I need you to help me figure out how to use my credit. My original conf# was N8K1J1 and my booking # is 2042627293. I called twice yesterday and emailed. I have until this afternoon to cancel and rebook with my credit. Can you please call me and help me figure this out? Thank you. Debra

    1. Hi Debra, a couple of our travel advisors tried to contact you regarding your credit but were unable to reach you. We do not see an email from you or a held reservation. However, we did see that United had already issued your credit into an Electronic Voucher. Because of this, the exchange has to be made directly through the airline. We did ask United to forward you the information on how to change your reservation. Please feel free to contact us via if you need further assistance. Thank you

  2. Why can American change a ticket from non stop @ getting in 1:30 pm and changing a ticket to 1 stop and getting in at 6:30 pm on the 5 th of June. Bought a cheaper flight on cheap air .com

    1. Hi Myrna, unfortunately, airlines reserve the right to update their schedule. Most changes are minor but when it is a significant change like yours, you do have the option to obtain a refund or see if there is a better-suited alternative offered by the airline. If you booked with us you can contact us at and we will work with you on finding you the best option available.

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