National Geographic Traveller (UK)



As travel bounced back in 2022, the surge in demand for flights, combined with the lack of supply, also saw air fares increase. Willie Walsh, director general of the Internatio­nal Air Transporta­tion Associatio­n (IATA), has warned of further price hikes: “Flights are getting more expensive because of the high price of oil and it’s becoming clear to everybody that that will be reflected in higher ticket prices.”

The industry expects to see a change in consumer habits as a result. “With the cost-of-living crisis taking full hold, Brits will be cautious about where they holiday, particular­ly during peak seasons,” says

The Points Guy’s Nicky Kelvin. “Many travellers will be looking to fly with lowercost airlines or go shorter distances. Many airlines are rushing to combat this. For example, EasyJet announced a huge sale in autumn 2022, with flights available to book in advance up to early 2024. Many destinatio­ns included in the sale are significan­tly reduced, with a variety of beach destinatio­ns coming in at under

£100 return.”

And as for rising fuel costs? “Flights operate using kerosene fuels, the price of which is extremely volatile,” says The Times’ Ben Clatworthy. “To make it easier to plan for the swings in the cost, airlines take out fuel hedging — a sort of insurance, or bet, against future price increases. Many airlines ‘locked in’ their summer fuel long before Russia invaded Ukraine and the price of jet fuel soared. But those airlines have now burnt the fuel. As of October 14, jet fuel in Europe was 46% more expensive year-on-year. And the value of the pound has tanked against the dollar. The result? Almost guaranteed higher airfares come the winter.”

How to deal with it: Book in advance and look out for sales. “Passengers can monitor flight prices and deals using Google Flights (or any preferred flight search engine) and receive alerts with updates for price drops and deals to ensure they get the best value for money they possibly can,” advises Kelvin.

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