Updated on May 15, 2024.
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The constant rise in airline ticket prices is one of the hottest topics for global travelers. Whether you book the flight during a thunderstorm or clear your internet cookies before searching for the best deals, nothing works anymore.

So, why are the prices looking high and the limited booking options? Let’s find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Consolidation in the airline industry has led to less competition, which means airlines no longer have the incentive to offer low fares to win customers.
  • The cost of fuel is a significant reason for the rise in airline ticket prices, as it now consumes about 35% of airlines’ budgets.
  • Capacity control plays a big role in airline ticket prices, as reducing supply despite constant demand can raise average fares.
  • To find the best flight deals, travelers should be flexible with their travel dates and routes, as prices can vary significantly depending on these factors.
  • It’s important to avoid last-minute bookings, as they can be much more expensive than booking in advance.

Why Are The Prices Of Flights Increasing?

The escalation in the prices of flight tickets can be due to both internal and external reasons. Let’s take a look at some of these reasons below.

1. Consolidation

The airline companies have consolidated a lot over the past few years. Thanks to mergers and bankruptcies, there are now only a few major airlines in the UK.

For example, Air France and KLM are considered single companies. What’s more, Lufthansa is also involved in many smaller airlines such as Eurowings and Austrian Airlines.

There is less competition when the airlines merge or partner up. As a result, the incentive to offer low fares to win customers also disappears.

2. Price of Fuel

The fuel price is another huge reason that airline ticket prices keep soaring higher and higher. In 1996, the cost of the fuel was $0.5 per gallon. However, the cost per gallon now is $6.7.

So, while the fuel was only 10% of the industry’s operating cost in 2001, it now consumes about 35% of their budget. Therefore, the price has pretty much quadrupled for the airlines.

Since the airlines cannot bear all of the increase in fuel prices, they pass some of it down to their consumers, which leads to higher fares.

3. Capacity Control

Capacity control also hugely impacts airline ticket prices. According to Seth Kaplan of Airline Weekly, if you reduce the supply despite the constant demand, you can raise the average fares because, in this way, you’ll not be carrying the price-sensitive traveler.

That’s what the airlines these days have done. Even though the industry is significant, domestic seats in the air are still limited.

4. Competition

You might have noticed that the different routes of the same distance cost differently. This difference in cost is not because it costs an additional amount to operate but because the competitors are charging.

Since the small airport’s lack competition, flying into them becomes relatively expensive.

5. Last Minute Booking

Sometimes, getting an inflated ticket price can be due to your laziness. If you keep waiting until the last moment, you’ll have to spend a hefty amount of money booking a flight.

How To Find The Best Flight Deals?

why are airline tickets so expensive?

Even though air travel is pricier now than a few years ago, it doesn’t mean you can’t find the best deal for yourself.

However, you’ll need to be a bit more flexible with your travel dates and time to achieve this. That’s because the prices of airline tickets vary a lot depending upon the day of the week and upcoming holidays.

Other than that, being flexible with your routes is another way to get cheap flights. For example, it might cost you less to first fly to London and then take an airline to Amsterdam instead of flying directly to Amsterdam from your city.

Final Words

Hopefully, now you’ll know why airline tickets are so expensive. Therefore, you must avoid getting into situations that can cost a fortune to book your preferable flight.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why have airline ticket prices increased over the years?

The rise in airline ticket prices can be attributed to several factors, including consolidation in the airline industry, higher fuel prices, capacity control, and competition.

  • How much of airlines’ budgets are consumed by fuel costs?

Fuel costs now consume about 35% of airlines’ budgets, which is a significant increase from the 10% it used to be in 2001.

  • Can consolidation in the airline industry lead to higher ticket prices?

Yes, consolidation in the airline industry can lead to less competition, which means airlines no longer have the incentive to offer low fares to win customers.

  • Is it possible to find cheap airline tickets?

Yes, it is still possible to find cheap airline tickets. Travelers can be flexible with their travel dates and routes, use online search engines, and book in advance to get the best deals.

  • Why are last-minute bookings more expensive?

Last-minute bookings are often more expensive because airlines know that travelers who need to book a flight at the last minute are willing to pay a higher price due to the urgency of their travel plans.