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How Long Will Airfare Stay Low?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:36 am

Mods, please move this if it should be in a different part of the forum...

Anyhow, here goes.

I have (had) tickets to fly British Airways DEN-LHR on April 27th, and back on May 6th. Given the current situation with COVID-19, BA has suspended flights to Denver for the meantime, and my flights have been cancelled.

I am still debating on wether or not I should get a refund from them, wait, and re-book when things start returning to relative normal, or if I should get a voucher and wait and see.

I am leaning towards the former, as I have looked at fares for that same trip, as soon as May and as late as September, and they're much lower than what I paid when I bought the tickets in January.

I know that this question has no real answer, but many here work in the industry and likely have a perspective that I don't.

Do you think airfare will be low for awhile, as the air-travel industry builds itself back up after COVID-19 is less of a threat? Or will airlines go back to their more normal prices sooner rather than later? Or, is this whole thing just too insane to predict something like that?

I should state that this trip is non-essential, but rather a chance to see friends in other places, and given the possibility of lower airfare, I feel opportunistic.
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Re: How Long Will Airfare Stay Low?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:50 am

They are already rising. Flights have been cut so much, that the few remaining can charge high prices for those that really need to travel.
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Re: How Long Will Airfare Stay Low?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:15 pm

For most European airlines, you will only get a full refund if you booked a refundable ticket. I am flying with AF (Air France) in a few months, and they are allowing all those whose flights were affected, to reschedule their flights to a later date, free of charge.

As for future fare prices, the recent ban on travel to Europe that POTUS has implemented states that the only ones that can fly from the EU to the US are American citizens. This means that for the time being, desperate US citizens that are trying to get home are the only source of revenue for EU-US passenger flights. That being said, airlines are jacking up prices to make sure that they stay in business. I have heard that a couple had to pay up to $4000 to fly from France to the US in PE. The recent surge of cheap flights is only in the domestic markets, where it is the airlines who are desperate, not the passenger.
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Re: How Long Will Airfare Stay Low?

Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:34 pm

Im pretty sure that if your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to full refund. Regardless of booking class.At least in the EU.
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Re: How Long Will Airfare Stay Low?

Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:15 pm

I think unfortunately the airfare rate will shoot up and we are right now in a bizarre anomaly. I just moved a CX flight forward and yes they waved the booking fee but they still charged a 'fare difference' for the same class. My view is while things are desperate now at the immediate time because of the 'world shutdown', but it will ratchet up quickly once restrictions ease.
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Re: How Long Will Airfare Stay Low?

Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:21 pm

I would get the voucher to apply towards a future ticket even if priced higher to make better use of the money you've already invested.
I agree with others that fares will likely at least go back to traditional levels in season or off season dates.
I think May is way too soon to re-book and that you need to kick back for a month or so to see how things in general are going forward.
I would also expect goods and services in Europe will likely be higher so by holding off you can build a larger budget for increased spending.
The US and most of Europe has to get "clean" to really open up to "normal" life again & I feel that is months away.
I had a trip to Japan in April and a rail trip in the US in May both booked and now canceled and refunded. All travel for me this year is on hold with no thought of when I may go. In the meantime, its fun to spend my "stay at home" time looking at future plans once things get back to that normal.

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