If you’re googling ‘why are flights so expensive right now?’ then you’ll find all the answers you need here.
Why are flights so expensive right now?
If ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ is a question you’ve found yourself asking recently, then hopefully this blog post will help.
But why are flight prices so expensive right now? Well, After 2 years of almost no international travel, the travel boom of 2022 is officially in full swing, and as expected, prices of flights have shot up to match the demand.
But is that the only reason why flights are so expensive right now?
No! The air travel industry is complex, and there are many reasons why are flights so expensive right now, and why flight prices have increased so much recently.
We’ll go over the various reasons flight prices have increased in this article.
Why are flights so expensive right now? Let’s get into it…
Reason 1: Demand for air travel is higher than ever
Why are flights so expensive right now? Well, demand is higher than ever.
People were primarily grounded during 2020 and 2021, so the travel industry is booming right now. So when asking ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ supply and demand is a big reason.
Travel, like any other industry, is subject to supply and demand.
So, when more people want to travel, less flights are available, and so the cost of the flights that remain obviously shoot up. It’s the most common answer to ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’.
Airlines know that they can charge more, because the supply is short, and the demand is high.
With so many people wanting to travel, and limited seats available on planes, tickets for what is available has shot up.
Reason 2: Staff shortages
When it comes to ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ – you have to mention the staff shortages airlines are experiencing.
There has been a world-wide staff shortage in travel and (in particular) in the air travel industry. This is partly due to illness, but also due to staff being laid off or put on leave during the Pandemic.
Why are flights so expensive right now? Well, airlines are missing ground crew, maintenance crew, engineers, and cabin crew… And a lack of staff means that airlines are having to bring in contractors, and temporary staff, and fill gaps – which all costs them more money.
So this is one of the reasons why flights are so expensive right now!
Without sustained staff levels, the industry remains unpredictable, and airlines will keep needing to spend more getting contract people in to fill much needed positions.
Read more about traveling in 2022: How early should I get to the airport in 2022?
Reason 3: Brands are recuperating costs
Why are flights so expensive right now? Well one reason may be that brands and airlines are currently recuperating their costs.
As we all know, a lot of airlines and travel brands lost a lot of income in 2020 and 2021. This was due to the pandemic, and many flights and airlines being grounded.
Now that the industry is back up and running again, it’s expected that we’ll see a rise in costs as airlines try to recuperate some of the money that was lost.
This might means an increase in base fare, but also an increase in baggage fees, seat selection fees, and onboard food.
Why are flights so expensive right now? This is a huge reason.
Reason 4: Fuel costs are rising
Why are flights so expensive right now? Well, you may be aware if you drive a car, that fuel costs have been rising globally this year.
Fuel costs rising is something the air travel industry is highly sensitive to. And it’s a big answer to ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’.
Aircrafts use fuel (just like a car does) and when those fuel costs sky-rocket, it can certainly alter the price of tickets for passengers.
In the same way that Uber has needed to increase fares to account for fuel costs rising, the same goes for airlines too.
Aircrafts can often consume an average of 3-3.5 litres per 100 passenger-kilometer – so think how much this adds up when there are 300 passengers flying.
Reason 5: It’s all perception!
Why are flights so expensive right now? Well, flights may seem to be even more expensive, because we’re comparing flights to mid-pandemic costs.
During the pandemic, flight costs dropped massively. Airlines were desperate to get people onboard, and not many people were traveling using planes, so the cost of tickets dropped to become more appealing.
If you found yourself searching for flights in the middle of the pandemic, and found some bargain airfares, you likely won’t come across those bargains anymore.
Whilst this might not full explain of answer ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ it’s certainly why the perception of these flight increases feels much worse.
Reason 6: Increased health and safety costs
Next on our list of ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ it’s increased health and safety costs.
Another likely reason why flights are so expensive at the moment is the rising cost of health and safety procedures.
Whilst these are easing off for many airlines, it’s not the case for all of them.
Think about the amount of additional cleaning and safety equipment that was needed during the height of the pandemic (and is still needed in some cases) because of mandates and laws in certain countries.
This all adds up to increased outgoings for the airlines, which equates to increased fares for passengers.
Reason 7: Why are flights so expensive right now? Seasonality
Another common answer to ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ is often seasonality.
This is something that has always altered prices, and it’s always worth checking seasonality before booking a trip.
If you’re traveling to NYC for example, you’ll find flight prices skyrocketing around New Years Eve and December (as people flock to the city for festivities).
In Europe in the summertime, you’ll notice flight prices for beach resorts shooting up much higher than average.
Always check out seasonality when a flight seems too expensive because you might be booking your trip during peak season! Sometimes, pushing a flight back a week, can have a big difference on prices.
Read more: How to find cheap business class tickets for your next flight
Reason 8: Avoiding dangerous airspace
The last reason for why are flights so expensive right now, is dangerous or limited airspace.
For example, with the crisis in Ukraine, planes are limited on where they can fly over when traveling to certain cities.
This won’t be affecting everyone from everywhere, but will likely be changing flights to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, India, etc.
Because airlines can only safely fly over certain locations, when airspace is limited or banned (for example, over Russia right now) it can cost more for that route.
It’s not a common answer to ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ but it’s always worth mentioning.
Did this answer your question… ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’
Now we’ve answered your question ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ we’ll try and give you a few tips on how to find cheaper fares this year!
Everyone should be able to travel if they want to, and we hope expensive fares don’t stop people from living out their travel dream or checking out their bucket list item.
Here are some tips to ensure you find the best fares possible…
Tip 1: Look at flying indirectly
Now you know the answer to ‘Why are flights so expensive right now?’ it’s time to look at ways to save money!
Sometimes a direct flight can cost up to twice the amount as an indirect route. So if you’ve got time to spare, an indirect flight might save you some serious cash.
Sure it adds an hour or two to your journey, but it may save you lots of spending money!
Tip 2: Use online flight search engines
The best way to find cheap fares is by using search engines such as Google Flights or SkySkanner. This way you can play around with dates and times until you find the cheapest combination.
Tip 3: Avoid flying at the weekend
Friday night flights and weekend flights are always going to be more expensive.
So if you can fly on a low-demand date such as a Tuesday morning, or Thursday morning, the prices may come down by 25%.
Tip 4: Explore all airport possibilities
Many major cities have multiple airports – and the flights from these airports will vary in price depending on the airports schedule and proximity to the city.
For example, it is often cheaper to fly in London Stansted airport, than London Heathrow.
Always check around your destination to see if there is an alternative (and cheaper) airport you could try.
Why are flights so expensive right now? Hopefully, now you’ve got all the info you need!
Read more: How to avoid boredom whilst flying long haul