AUSTIN (KXAN) — With more people frequently flying through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the cost of airfare is climbing.
Scott Keyes is the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, an online travel platform that sends daily deals to its customers.
“Airfare is up nearly 19% on a month-to-month basis,” he said. “That is a record high.”
Scott’s Cheap Flights attributes three key reasons behind the record-high price hikes we’ve witnessed.
“It’s the rebound in demand, the lack of flight supply and the price of oil,” Keyes said.
Edward Anderson is a professor at UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, and he said that domestic airfare is already up 45% from the start of the year.
“The price of fuel since the beginning of the pandemic has just about quadrupled,” Anderson said. “From a $1.80 per gallon to $6.32 a gallon.”
Many airlines are also struggling to restaff with a nationwide pilot shortage.
Southwest Airlines confirmed to KXAN that it cut around 325 flights per day from April till June.
“Why Southwest is reducing the number of flights is because it’s much less expensive to schedule these cancellations now in advance,” Anderson said. “When they can do some planning ahead of time.”
Other airlines expect the number of people flying this summer to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
With this in mind, travel experts are advising people to book their flights now.
“Don’t hold out hope that flights are going to get cheaper last-minute,” Keyes concluded. “Nine times out of ten it’s actually going to go the other direction and get more expensive.”
Although there aren’t many more affordable flights available this summer, Scott’s Cheap Flights estimates that the costs of flights will fall after Labor Day in September.