PSA: Domestic Airfares Are the Lowest in Years—Now’s the Time to Book

International flights are really low, too, making October a stellar month for booking travel.

PSA: Domestic Airfares Are the Lowest in Years—Now’s the Time to Book

Charleston is calling.

Photo by jdross75/Shutterstock

This October, domestic airfares are the lowest they have been in six years, according to travel booking app Hopper.

Based on its monthly consumer airfare index, Hopper found that domestic fares are on average $211 round-trip this month. The U.S. destinations it predicted would be “on sale” in October are Austin, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New York City; and Charleston, South Carolina, all of which are around one-third lower than they usually are.

There are savings to be had on international flights as well. Hopper found lower-than-normal airfares to destinations that include Reykjavík, Iceland; Bangkok, Thailand; Cancun, Mexico; Seoul, South Korea; and Osaka, Japan.

The good news is that airfares are expected to remain low through the end of the year, peaking briefly around Thanksgiving and then starting to climb again as we enter into spring and travelers start planning their spring break trips.

So, why the lower fares right now? For one, jet fuel prices recently fell 6.3 percent to $1.80 per gallon. Additionally, there are more seats in the air. Major U.S. carriers have 3.1 percent more domestic capacity this October than they did last October, and 2 percent more international capacity, Hopper reported. Low-cost carriers are growing, too—U.S.-based low-cost carriers experienced 20.2 percent growth in domestic capacity year-over-year and 8.9 percent international capacity growth.

It isn’t just Hopper that has noticed this trend in lower fares. AFAR recently rounded up airfare deals to Europe from multiple cities in the United States for under $350 from major airlines like Delta, American Airlines, and United.

File under some of the many reasons why off-season and shoulder season travel may in fact be the best time to take a trip.

As for when to book holiday travel, some of the cheapest airfares may still be to come. Hopper reported that Halloween is when travelers planning to get away for Thanksgiving or during Christmastime should book their flights for the best deals.

That echoes similar advice offered by booking site Expedia. According to Expedia, for the cheapest Thanksgiving airfares, travelers should book between October 29 and November 13. For Christmas, Expedia reported that the best time to purchase flights will be between November 23 and December 9.

>> Next: Why You Should Book Your Next Trip in the Off Season

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at Afar where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined Afar in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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