A new data analysis indicates bright skies ahead when it comes to the anticipated cost of air travel for 2024. Amid the postpandemic “revenge travel” rush of 2022 and early 2023, airfare prices soared, boosted by the rising cost of jet fuel and overall economic inflation.

According to a fresh data evaluation conducted by flight booking website Going.com, average airfare costs have fallen back below prepandemic norms. Its data indicated that the prices of airplane seats have dropped by 24% since the peak period of May 2022.

While domestic airfares began dropping down towards normal in spring 2023, the cost of international flights continued to sit at sky-high levels as the busy summer season approached.

But now, Going.com has shown evidence that international fare prices are falling, with roundtrip flights from the U.S. to Paris going for $387 and as far as New Zealand for $686.

“2023 has been a return to normalcy when it comes to flight prices, while 2024 is expected to just be normal. The peak of flight prices in May of 2022 have disappeared,” Going.com’s Katy Nastro shared in a statement to Travel + Leisure.

“Looking forward, we don’t anticipate any major swings in demand outside of typical peak seasons like the summer or the winter holidays like we saw in the last 18 months where postpandemic pent-up travel demand drove prices upwards,” she added.


An investigation into the average price of airfare found that a downward trend has prevailed for 13 of the past 18 months. And, presently, we’re seeing a 12% reduction in cost compared to corresponding figures from last year.

Economists are attributing this favorable shift to a combination of factors, including that there seem to be fewer people traveling for leisure purposes, while business travel still hasn’t bounced back to prepandemic levels.

In an interview with T+L, KPMG’s Chief Economist Diane Swonk explained, “It’s a combination of less business travel, as we haven’t seen the rebound to prepandemic levels, lower fuel prices, and more capacity as more planes have come online.”

This assessment was echoed by Southwest Airlines during its October 2023 financial briefing, wherein the carrier acknowledged the existing volume of business travelers as being “below historical levels”.

Complementing these encouraging trends in airfare pricing is a parallel decline in car rental rates, which have registered a 10.1 percent reduction over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent Consumer Price Index Report.

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