a row of seats in an airplane

In the words of the great Fatboy Slim, we’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good. For airlines, it’s very on point sentiment.

Airlines were one of the most impacted businesses of the last few years and in many cases, they were forced to scale down to barebones operations. Fewer planes, fewer employees, smaller flights, flying less frequently — all that jazz.

With positive health outlooks and countries reopening, airlines are finally in a position to scale back up to the roaring times of old, to catch up with demand that currently is outpacing availability. That’s sent flight prices absolutely soaring through the roof, with flights sold out for months to some hot destinations.

If you still want to travel, but raise an eyebrow at the prices out in the market right now, it’s not all going to be bad news forever though. Despite current unprecedented demand and crazy rates, flight deals will continue to exist, and may actually pick up.

a row of seats in an airplane

Why Flight Deals Will Be Back

Airlines are thrilled that the flights they are flying, are mostly flying full. They’re less thrilled about the fact that they’re still getting planes out of storage, struggling to get flight crews “current” and are struggling to acquire enough staff to handle demand.

And they’re even less thrilled about the fact that they’re only selling out two flights a day to some markets, when they once sold out six or more. More sold out flights, more profit, happy days. That’s precisely why there is good news for passengers ahead.

There’s a squeeze on prices and availability right now because operations aren’t back at 100%, yet.

Airlines eagerly want to grow again — and shifting into growth mode means bringing back more daily flights to more places. It also means flying bigger planes. They all want to win a larger share of each travel market.

Upgrading to bigger planes means more sales pressure. Adding more flights means more sales pressure. As those two things happen, and competitors do the same, prices will have to drop.

Plus, people are spending fake money right now.

Inflation is an easy blame right now, but the truth is that most people are spending long unused airline vouchers accumulated before and during the global pandemic.

It’s created a funny money effect in the market, because people aren’t as sensitive with money that’s already “spent”, effectively. Its easier for someone to part ways with $900 for an economy ticket to Europe when it’s all “old money” vouchers.

As vouchers are consumed and people start thinking clearly again, the public will also play a role in setting future prices. So long as health situations remain stable, a desire to see the world will too, but the crazy pent up demand we’re seeing right now can’t last forever. It’s a bit like a champagne bottle.

a blue passport with gold text on it

Great Deals Exist Right Now

In the last week alone, there were shock $900 business class tickets from the USA to Europe, $1500 tickets from Europe to Hawaii and amazing short haul deals within the USA, Europe, South America, Middle East, Africa and beyond.

That pressure to fill planes as flights become more frequent and planes get bigger again is real, and a lot of it comes down to timing. Setting Google Flights alerts will help ensure that if prices to dramatically change as a new flight is launched, or a new airline launches a route, you’ll know about it.

Of course, flexibility doesn’t hurt either. If you can stand the F.O.M.O, traveling during shoulder season, or autumn when everyone is back to work and kids are in school can shave hundreds off any ticket, in any cabin.

Plus, the ultimate hot tip: don’t be afraid to window browse. Sometimes business class can be the same price as economy, or if business is expensive, first might not be that bad comparatively. Premium economy also remains a sweet spot, for many, many reasons.

Flight deals are coming back despite the demand. You just gotta’ make sure you’re in the right place with the right alerts set as they do.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Any thoughts about when the US might drop Covid testing for vaccinated citizens returning to the US?

    1. How about the great unwashed (unvaccinated)? We’re sitting on two years of travel cash and miles while the whole world is open – except the US.

  2. I haven’t seen any $900 RTv biz class deals from west coast but by all means let us know what we missed.

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