When you should buy your summer flights is the hot topic right now in travel news. There are so many factors that influence the price of flights and it seems like most of them are in play right now. While we don’t have a crystal ball over here at CheapAir.com, we can offer some general guidelines for booking.
First, it needs to be said that airfare is not going to go up overnight. In fact, the airlines have entire teams of people (not to mention computer algorithms) in place to maximize profits. The simple fact is that airfare prices will go up, but only if the demand is there. If you cut capacity, fares go up since there are more people fighting for fewer seats. And, if you add capacity, fares go down. So knowing this – will demand go up this summer?
Will demand be high this summer?
If we had a Magic 8 Ball, we’d have to say “all signs point to yes.” And that’s less about oil or gas prices, and mainly because the demand has continued to rise since the pandemic cut air travel off at the knees – when the airline industry essentially shut down. We’re seeing more and more travelers getting on airplanes these days, and demand is showing no signs of a slowdown.
So, remember. If the demand is there, prices will continue to climb. And at the moment anyway, demand for air travel hasn’t peaked.
We do recommend buying a bit sooner than you might have in years’ past. This year it’s been hard to predict what demand might be. Summer is always a busier and more expensive season for air travel. But now, with a few variables up in the air, we recommend buying sooner rather than later. But even if prices continue to rise, it’s not a case of one day airfares being one price and the next they double or triple.
What if my airline ticket price goes down after I buy?
Well, it might. Do we have you confused yet? Here’s the thing. We make predictions about airline ticket prices based on trends. And even when airfares are trending higher, that doesn’t mean your specific itinerary will 100% follow that trend. Oof. It’s complicated. We can say that it’s probably unlikely, but even if your trip winds up costing less, CheapAir.com has a bit of insurance built into every ticket we sell.
If you’re concerned that your preferred airfare could go down after you buy, know that we protect your ticket with CheapAir’s Price Drop Payback. If your fare drops after your purchase, we’ll pay you back up to $100 per ticket – so you can lock in your airfare with confidence.
Prices already look higher than I hoped to spend. What can I do?
We offer Monthly Payments for flights and hotels, the two largest expenses when planning a vacation. You can offset some of those upfront costs by using Monthly Payments to spread out the cost over a period of time (3-12 months, typically). Our financial partner Affirm makes qualifying fast, simple and transparent.
What do you consider a good value? Is price your main (or only) consideration when shopping for flights?
We ask you to consider that value is all relative. When you are sitting behind your screen comparing airfares, a lot of people shop on price and angle to get the “best” airfare. That’s great, especially if you’re on a tight budget. These days, there are a lot of low cost airlines, and even the legacy airlines offer a Basic Economy ticket for people who need to get the lowest possible fare.
However, you should be careful when shopping to be aware of what is included with each ticket. CheapAir’s flight search is completely transparent and will help you see what amenities you can expect with your ticket. You should also know that – generally speaking – when you buy a “Basic” airline ticket, you’re paying for a seat on a plane (and nothing else). Most of the time, you don’t even get to choose the seat.
You can usually purchase a seat assignment later, but consider these options when you’re shopping. Oftentimes, you’ll pay more later to add these items on than you would have if you’d just rolled that cost in at the initial point of purchase.
How can I identify the cheapest and most expensive days to fly this summer?
Our Summer Flights page is a great tool for planning. We created a simple calendar to see which days are the best value, and show data which tells you the days of the week that are best to travel for the cheapest tickets.
We also recommend checking out our Europe Summer Flights page for helpful tips when booking internationally.
Please let us know if you plan to travel this summer in the comments section. Are you concerned about the cost of flights and do you plan to buy early or wait a while to purchase airfare? We’re here to help!