DENVER — According to travel experts, airfares are lower than they’ve been in two years but prices are expected to increase as airlines prepare for the 2021 holiday season.
“We saw just this week very early January fares from Denver to Hawaii for $264 round trip. That is a phenomenal deal and a big part of that is because the demand to go to Hawaii has dropped off. Once that demand comes back you’re not going to get to Hawaii for $300 roundtrip, I can promise you that,” said Scott’s Cheap Flights Flight Expert Willis Orlando.
Throughout the pandemic airfares have fluctuated.
“We saw a major surge in demand especially from U.S. passengers early in the summer around April, May, and June. Faster than most airlines were ready for,” Orlando said.
Orlando said during the height of the pandemic, many airlines were forced to furlough pilots and ground planes so when demand returned, they were unprepared.
“We saw a lot of cancellations and delays around Fourth of July weekend,” Orlando said. “The delta variant has dampened some of the enthusiasm for travel which has kind of put a damper on demand. At the beginning of July, flight service reached almost where it was in July 2019. Now we’re down about 25% to 30%.”
Orlando said now is the best time to book winter trips and for travelers who are unsure about travel dates, most airlines are waiving change fees.
Rental car prices are also leveling out.
“We saw in Hawaii in May or June, car rental prices as much as $650 per day — that’s about $4000 for a week,” Orlando said. “Car rental prices are back down because travel demand has come back a little more slowly this time around.”
Orlando said right now, most drivers should be able to find a basic car rental for $50 or less per day.