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Cheap flights harder to find as airline prices go up: How to hunt for a bargain

Many airlines reported that business was booming, with flight sales up despite the cost of living crisis

Flight prices are rising and will only rise this year, experts warn…so should you book now for the summer? Plus, how to get a bargain

  • Brits still keen to book holidays despite rising cost of living
  • But with flight costs high – and growing – booking soon could save money
  • Ticket prices rose 44% last year, official statistics show

Holidaymakers could save money by booking flights quickly, as airlines and aviation experts believe prices will skyrocket later in the year.

The price of flights is already high, even during the off-peak winter season. Ticket prices rose 44.1% in the year to December, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This is the largest airline price increase in more than 30 years.

Many airlines reported that business was booming, with flight sales up despite the cost of living crisis

Many airlines reported that business was booming, with flight sales up despite the cost of living crisis

But despite flight prices reaching historic highs and the wider cost of living crisis, Britons are still keen to book holidays.

EasyJet said the yield on its Easter tickets had already increased by 25% compared to 2019, before restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic hit airlines.

But booking flights for this year’s holidays could be a smart move, as prices are expected to rise further in the coming months.

This week, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said that “based on current booking profiles, we believe fares will increase over Easter and summer”.

Wizz Air boss Jozsef Varadi said last week that “bookings are strong” as the company saw an increase in ticket sales.

Based on current booking profiles, we believe rates will increase over Easter and Summer

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary

Meanwhile, aviation analyst John Strickland said prices are likely to rise over the next few months due to high fuel prices and airline capacity, mainly on long-haul flights, is still coming back. to pre-pandemic levels.

Strickland said: “We are seeing average prices going up. It is obvious that this trend is well in place. Hard proof from the airlines is that prices have gone up even in the last winter months.

“These price increases are not airlines trying to exploit the situation, they reflect rising costs, such as aviation fuel.” Aviation fuel prices remain high and account for about a third of airline costs.

“The other factor is capacity on long-haul flights, which hasn’t returned to the level it was before Covid.”

However, the future of ticket prices beyond the next few months is more difficult to predict.

Strickland said: “We have no idea what will happen with Ukraine, the wider economies and consumers’ ability to pay.” Seventy to 80% of people say they put price first when booking. »

How to get cheaper flights

  • Be flexible on site. Flight search sites such as Skyscanner or Google Flights show you the cheapest destinations from the nearest airport. You never know what may catch your eye.
  • Be quick. Airlines usually release tickets around a year before departure, but some carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet have shorter pre-sale periods. This can be the cheapest time to book as prices usually increase with demand.
  • Fly midweek. Airfares are cheapest for flights to Europe on Tuesdays, according to travel comparison site Many business travelers prefer to fly on Monday and return on Friday, so the cheapest weekend mini-stays can often be Thursday-Tuesday.
  • Configure alerts. Setting up a few Google alerts will allow you to track ticket price fluctuations on your favorite routes. You can even take it a step further and use Google’s vast reach to help you identify seasonal price drops.

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