With the news focusing on price hikes at the gas pump, we thought it time to check in with travelers on what the rest of 2022 might look like for consumers – from airfare to cruises and even car rentals. Brace yourselves – it’s going to get expensive. The experts say that jet fuel prices have already increased 50% in 2022, and those prices are only going up.
Jet fuel surcharges may make a return
It hasn’t happened yet, but we might need to prepare to see the return of jet fuel surcharges. The airlines usually stockpile surplus fuel in a process called “hedging,” so they can buy fuel at the best price and not subject themselves and their passengers to the oil market volatility. But the pandemic caused the air travel demand to plummet, and a lot of airlines now find themselves in a situation where they’re more at the mercy of the market.
The airlines historically pass these increases on to passengers in the form of a fuel surcharge, though many airlines have stopped short of committing to this strategy thus far this year. We still feel the need to prepare travelers for the price hike that’s almost surely coming for the travel industry.
We have some suggestions so you can avoid or mitigate sticker shock.
Buy your 2022 flights early to avoid price hikes later this year
Even though jet fuel prices are already up, travelers aren’t likely to see the results reflected in ticket prices for about four months. Airline analysts are forecasting this delay in steep price hikes, though people are already seeing prices rise.
Our advice for 2022 travel has been to book on the early side, and we’re going to double down on this strategy now. You must prepare for flight prices to rise, and if you already have set travel dates you should buy now to avoid the price hikes coming soon.
Consider a road trip for shorter distances (but proceed with caution)
We had to throw this option out there, especially since it’s tempting to avoid flying when the airline ticket costs rise. But this year we have to also issue a warning to go in with eyes open and make sure to do an apples to apples comparison.
After all, people are already feeling pain at the pump and if you choose to rent a car, those costs are also rising. People seem to be willing to tolerate the inconvenience right now – will be interesting to see if that attitude continues as long as prices stay high.
Take the long view in travel planning for 2022
Knowledge is power. Leveraging that knowledge is key for travel and flight planning in 2022. Anyone who is certain to take a trip this year might seriously consider buying flights sooner rather than later, while we know prices are on the reasonable side.
CheapAir.com has Price Drop Payback to protect the price you pay
If you do choose to buy early, CheapAir.com has your back. We offer Price Drop Payback, a feature that protects the price you pay up to $100 a ticket. Should the price actually drop after you buy, we’ll give you that money back as a credit for future travel.
We certainly don’t want to alarm travelers. Rather, we’re hoping to share important information to help keep your travel costs in check in 2022.