Holiday travel: Airfare is more expensive at these airports, data shows | Tech US News

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(NEXSTAR) – With Thanksgiving just weeks away, you may be thinking about your holiday travel plans. Travel experts predict high demand and more expensive flights this season after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

A new report shows that a ticket to certain airports can be more expensive than others.

Reviewing the latest data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, financial planning website SmartAsset recently ranked the nation’s busiest airports based on how expensive airfare has become over the past year.

BTS data shows that nationally, the average airfare during the second quarter of 2022 rose to $397, up from $338 at the beginning of the year. While that’s higher than the $295 average price seen during the second quarter of 2020, when air travelers were restricted by COVID-19, it’s lower than the $406 average that travelers saw in late 2019, just before the pandemic.

Expensive fuel, staffing challenges and high demand have contributed to rising costs. While experts expect airline prices to cool soon, SmartAsset found that’s not exactly the case so far at some airports.

SmartAsset analyzed the 100 busiest airports in the US. USA and compared them across three metrics: average airfare costs (specifically round-trip domestic tickets) for the second quarter of 2022, percentage change compared to the same time last year, and dollar amount change in the fare medium air

Across these airports, SmartAsset found that 45 have seen the average airfare increase by more than $100 over the past year. Although it may seem relatively small, for many airports, it is an increase of more than 40%.

Airports in the West experienced the largest year-over-year price increases, including locations in California, Washington, Arizona and Idaho.

Here are the 10 airports that experienced the largest airfare increases between the second quarter of 2021 and 2022, as well as percentage and dollar changes, according to SmartAsset:

rank airport Percentage change Dollar amount change
1 Pensacola International 51.28% $157
2 Fresno Yosemite International 42.15% $140
3 Seattle/Tacoma International 49.18% $144
4 Los Angeles International 42.22% $133
5 Bozeman Yellowstone International 43.27% $134
6 Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International 37.52% $137
7 Spokane International 41.61% 129 USD
8 Tucson International 37.60% $128
9 Boise Air Terminal 43.29% $128
10 Wayne County Metro Detroit 41.64% $126

At three airports: Dane County Regional in Madison, Wis.; Washington Dulles International; and Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International: Average airfares topped $500. Two other airports weren’t far behind: San Francisco International’s average airfare is $499 while Greenville-Spartanburg International’s is $490.

Although airfares have increased at all airports reviewed by SmartAsset, prices have not risen dramatically everywhere. At two airports, the average airfare remains below $150: St. Pete Clearwater International and Orlando Sanford International.

The average airfare at Hawaii’s Kahului Airport has changed the least over the past year, at just $7.

Here are the 10 airports that experienced the smallest changes in their average fare:

rank airport Percentage change Dollar amount change
100 Kahului Airport 2.40% $7
99 St Pete Clearwater International 10.03% $13
98 Ellison Onizuka Kona International at Keahole 4.25% $12
97 Bob Hope 8.22% $22
96 Metropolitan Oakland International 10.81% $30
95 Long Beach Airport 14.26% $36
94 Buffalo Niagara International 13.10% $41
93 Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International 14.16% $43
92 LaGuardia 16.36% $45
91 Orlando Sanford International 24.74% $29

The price changes may seem sharp, but some of the jumps are due to cheaper airfare seen during the pandemic. Experts point out that some of the prices we are seeing now are still lower than what we had in the months leading up to the pandemic.

While the “sweet spot” for getting the best prices on holiday airfares has passed, there are some days that are better to fly than others around Thanksgiving and Christmas, travel guides say.

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