(NewsNation) — The cost of travel this holiday season is expected to take off.
Travel site Hopper says tickets will cost nearly 20% more compared to last year, with the average domestic round-trip ticket costing $274.
The pressure is on as airlines look to avoid a service meltdown during the busiest travel season of the year (like the one seen this summer).
Reuter’s analysis of data from FlightAware, a flight statistic website, found that U.S. carriers alone canceled 128,943 flights from January to July of this year.
Travel expert Sandra McLemore says the best time to book a flight is right now.
“Flight prices are at an all-time high. We haven’t seen flights this expensive in five years. So if you haven’t booked your holiday flights, now is the time to do it,” McLemore said Tuesday on News 2’s sister station, NewsNation. “I do think that we’re not going to see any relief for 2022, and perhaps into 2023. So it’s no surprise that travelers are looking for alternative ways to spend their holidays and to travel.”
With inflation pushing up the cost of such things as groceries, gas, hotels and airfare, McLemore suggests spending the holiday season on a cruise ship or similar types of travel.
“It’s not a surprise that all-inclusive travel styles, like cruising, like all-inclusive resorts, are really a great option for the holiday season,” she said. “That’s fully inclusive of where they’re going to sleep, entertainment, food and, in some cases, there are some great deals like Wi-Fi and drink packages as well.”
Last month, President Joe Biden announced a new initiative that would eventually allow consumers to see a more complete price on airline tickets — including baggage and change fees — before they buy.
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The White House says the proposed rule from the Transportation Department will prevent airlines from hiding the “true cost” of airline tickets, which would help consumers save money up front and encourage more competition among airlines to offer better fares.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.