A recent survey by Dollar Flight Club, using data points from both 9/11 and the Great Recession of 2008, has analyzed how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting travelers as the world gradually reopens in 2020. Dollar Flight Club is an email/app subscription service based in the USA, that provides 800,000+ members information about the world’s cheapest flight deals and help them travel on a budget.
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with impacting huge economies and livelihood of many people, has affected the aviation sector as well. When it comes to airfare prices and passengers, the following information (for the US) are of great concern:
Impact on domestic airfare pricing
Dollar Flight Club has found that in the short run, domestic flights within the US are 41% lower on average, and will be throughout 2020. Domestic fares will then increase 21% on average (above 2019 levels) in the long run, through 2025. 2020/21 Holiday flight fares up to 41% off in will be available. A few examples include:
- Los Angeles to Chicago – $109 roundtrip
- Dallas to Seattle – $153 roundtrip
- Boston to San Diego – $190 roundtrip
- New York to San Francisco – $201 roundtrip
- Atlanta to Portland – $165 roundtrip
- New York to Chicago – $116 roundtrip
Impact on International Travel
International flights from the US are 35% lower on average and will remain the same throughout 2020. International fares will increase 27% on average (above 2019 levels) due to long term price impact, through 2025. 2020/21 Holiday flight fares up to 35% off will be available. A few examples include:
- Los Angeles to Costa Rica – $204 roundtrip
- Dallas to Iceland – $353 roundtrip
- Boston to Greece – $350 roundtrip
- New York to London – $261 roundtrip
Impact on travelers/passengers
In the short term, the industry is decreasing flight prices for travelers who are willing to book flights for future travel. As a long-term impact, the airline industry will grow smaller, which is not in favor of the passengers. As airlines downsize operations, passengers in smaller or short-haul markets can expect decreased air services. Thus, passengers will find it more expensive and harder to travel. In these markets, train and bus travel can see significant growth.
Even though there are fewer flight options, passengers will see fewer flight delays and cancellations. However, as the airlines lose more revenue, they will raise additional baggage fees and miscellaneous charges to increase profit as travel demand returns. Lastly, as flight schedules and routes will be cut, passengers will experience crowded and less comfortable flights.
*(All data has been provided by Dollar Fight Club)