Back-to-School Study Reveals Increase in Airfare for Students

Mid-week travel is the key for college-bound students looking to save on flights

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 27, 2022) – As college students prepare to return to campus for the upcoming fall semester, has released its 2022 Back-to-School Airfare Study. Taking a look at 70 colleges and universities across the United States, the study analyzed how expensive back-to-school flights are this year compared to 2021, based on the timeframe of their first day of classes. The study also offers insights to help students get the best deal.

The study revealed that overall airfare costs for college students returning to campus are up approximately 23% from last year. The top five colleges with the largest airfare spikes on average compared to 2021 include:

  • University of Washington up 49%, resulting in an average increase of $123 per ticket
  • Oregon State up 48%, resulting in an average increase of $138 per ticket
  • University of California, Los Angeles up 37%, resulting in an average increase of $85 per ticket
  • University of Southern California up 36%, resulting in an average increase of $109 per ticket
  • University of Utah up 35%, resulting in an average increase of $102 per ticket

See the full ranking list of all 70 colleges and universities here.

While back-to-school airfare has increased this year, there are a few ways students can find cost savings, such as:

  1. Catching a mid-week flight: Tuesday and Wednesday flights offer the best deals on average, especially when compared to departing on a Sunday.
  2. Booking an early morning or late-night flight: Due to lack of demand, these flights are often cheaper. Early morning flights are also statistically more likely to depart on time.
  3. Comparing alternative airports: If a university is serviced by more than one airport, sometimes a larger market airport that is a bit farther away can save students a significant amount of money.

For additional information and the full ranking list of the 70 U.S. colleges and universities with the highest airfare increases, check out the full 2022 Back-to-School Study.


Headquartered in California, is powered by a team of 50 travel enthusiasts who use cutting-edge technology and superior customer service to simplify the way people shop for travel. Our proprietary airfare shopping engine provides an easy-to-understand view of flight and fare options from across the web, to make trip planning easy and joyful. Only CheapAir provides full apples-to-apples comparisons so you can see and book across different airlines and different flights, not just the lowest fares, but also the best value flights based on quality, comfort, and inflight amenities. For expert travel advice, deals and inspiration, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

CEO Jeff Klee started in 1989 from his college dorm room after getting a crash course in the airline industry while planning a backpacking trip through Europe on a student’s budget. still takes a creative approach to helping travelers to find the best trips. Along with its sister company, AmTrav for Business Travelers, CheapAir has helped over five million people buy plane tickets with confidence.