Air fares going up?!?!?

edited April 27 in General

We are headed to J&E the last two weeks of March 2022. We will be in the 330 day flight booking window next week and I like to book as early as possible, so I have been tracking fares using same day of the week constructive dates for the last few months. Around three weeks ago business class fares started to climb rapidly- they have gone up almost $2000 per ticket for most routes! I suppose the reason could be because the tourist season is starting, however, under normal, pre-COVID, conditions, I think our tour dates are still considered the off-season or shoulder-season.

With travel starting to build, I wonder if Delta and possibly other airlines smell the $$$ and are trying to make up for lost revenue, quickly. I would search other airlines but have credits to burn and status, so we are stuck with Delta. As it stands, we still can't get into Amman on Delta/AF, they don't show any flights, so we will fly to Paris or Athens then take Royal Jordanian into Amman. The return flights from Cairo are OK. I'll probably wait a little before I purchase the Royal Jordanian tickets just in case Delta adds flights to Amman.

Anyone else, whether you are booking with Tauck or directly with the airlines, notice rapidly increasing fares?

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Comments

  • Just the other day, I booked my Turkish Air flights for my March 2022 "Jerusalem, The Red Sea & Petra." The business class ticket (from and to BOS) was $3,081, which I thought was reasonable. I find that there can be huge differences in price, depending on the airline. I also check out the seat configurations on seatguru.com (as I'm sure you do Alan), because I don't mind paying more for a lie flat seat on long flights.

  • I too have noticed that prices are creeping up. MCD, 3081.00 is very reasonable. Round trip from Louisiana to Cairo in late February is double that for business class. Usually we incorporate a few days in other countries before or after Tauck tours overseas. However, we cant do that comfortably with the current situation. Debating whether to buy a non-refundable ticket which is 1500.00 less than refundable since there are no change fees. If the trip is a no go, do I want to have a credit with airline or get money back. Or, do I wait and book in late fall? Very agonizing

  • edited April 30

    Yup, we always go with the lay flat seats in the 1 - 2 - 1 config- all seats with aisle access. It looks like our flight from Cairo to Paris on an Air France 777 will have a 2 - 3 - 2 seat arrangement in the business class cabin, however. We usually sit side-by-side in the center and still do for night flights, but this time are going to try window seats, one in front of the other, so we both have windows. Besides, when we fly we usually do our own thing- read, watch a movie, or sleep- and it can be hard to converse due to plane noise.

  • AlanS
    It looks like our flight from Cairo to Paris on an Air France 777 will have a 2 - 3 - 2 seat arrangement in the
    business class cabin, however

    Is this a European Business class or 'real' Business class? I assume with your diligence it is the latter, but any flight that stops in Europe worries me about 'Business class'.

  • I have definitely noticed air fare increases. We have a pandemic rescheduled specialty cruise in the Danube Delta area (non Tauck) that is now scheduled for end of September into early October. I was needing open jaw tickets since we would need to fly into Bucharest Romania (OTP) and return from Budapest Hungry (BUD). I was looking at air fares last month and saw that business class fares for our flights were about as low as I have ever seen them. I realized that I was probably taking a crapshoot by getting the tickets but decided to get the tickets anyway since the change fees were eliminated if the trip was rescheduled again and I had to rebook. These tickets are from Seattle (SEA) connecting in Frankfurt (FRA) so part of the flights will be European Business Class. The flights are booked on United but actually are on Lufthansa aircraft. Below you can see the dramatic increase from a month ago when I booked the flights and today.

    The fare when I booked.

    The fare today.

  • One of our flights for our probably to be canceled JULY Scandinavia tour was re-scheduled by Tauck and the airline to go through Frankfurt. Right now, even if your are transiting and staying airside, you have to have a Covid test that is no older than 48 hours from taking as you land in Frankfurt, which is a definite pain in the butt and worrying thst you get the timing right. One of yet several reasons I hope the tour is canceled

  • I’m hoping that when more places and flights open up, competition will drive prices down again

  • edited April 28

    Smiling Sam
    12:55PM
    Is this a European Business class or 'real' Business class?

    We are trying to avoid Euro business. On the way over we are looking at a flight from JFK direct to Athens, then on a small, but very nice Jordanian Air EMB175 to Amman. We can't avoid Paris coming home but the leg from Cairo to Paris is on an older wide body 777 which has full size, lay flat or angle flat seats, (but in 2 - 3 - 2 layout) so no Euro business class there either.

    JohnS
    2:00PM
    I have definitely noticed air fare increases.

    $2378.35 vs $4729.69! That is about what I noticed but not quite as bad. I can still find fares as low as when I first started tracking but with much worse routing, much longer layovers, and not as nice of aircraft/seating.

    British
    2:10PM
    I’m hoping that when more places and flights open up, competition will drive prices down again

    Let us hope so and hope the airlines continue with the no change fees policy. Just to ensure we'll have seats, I'm booking at the earliest opportunity like I usually do. I fully expect our flights will change for any one of a number of reasons- Delta aircraft availability, Delta resumes flights to Jordan again, or we find better of cheaper flights, etc., etc.

  • Also seeing flights added. Checked on flights to/from Albany this summer a couple of months ago and found few with bad schedules like arrivals at 1130 at night. Now I'm seeing more options. Hoping even more get added by the time I'm ready to book.

  • edited April 28

    AlanS
    We can't avoid Paris coming home but the leg from Cairo to Paris is on an older wide body 777 with it has full
    size, lay flat or angle flat seats, so no Euro business class there either.

    As it stands right now. Airlines change planes a lot. I worry about any leg that starts or stops it Europe that isn't going to/from the states could end up being the Euro business class. If so, a 4-5 hour Cairo to Paris Euro business class would be a bummer. The Athens to Amman leg is a short enough flight that even if it got changed to a Euro business class it would be OK, not desirable, but OK.

    You can avoid Paris coming home (Turkish Air), you just believe going through Paris is the best option, all things considered.

    Friends that went on the Israel/Jordan tour with us had a Lufthansa Euro business class leg from Amman to Frankfurt. Not a good option.

  • On my I/J trip, I flew to Tel Aviv on Air Canada via Toronto, and had the Lufthansa Amman to Frankfurt fake business class on the way home. Didn't have another reasonable option.

    I'm going to Egypt in Nov 2022 and hope flight schedules will be stable by the time booking is available.

    I started looking at options to japan for Apr 2022 and biz class is very expensive at the moment. I intend to wait several months and hopefully slight inventory will increase.

  • edited April 28

    Smiling Sam
    9:15AM edited 9:15AM
    . . . . I worry about any leg that starts or stops in Europe that isn't going to/from the states could end up being the Euro business class. If so, a 4-5 hour Cairo to Paris Euro business class would be a bummer. The Athens to Amman leg is a short enough flight that even if it got changed to a Euro business class it would be OK, not desirable, but OK.

    Royal Jordanian uses a smaller EMB 175 with 1 - 2 business seating for the relatively short, 2 hr, flight from Athens to Amman. Lucky (OneMileataTime) said the RJA business class seats on this aircraft were his favorite of all small regional jets (see pic below). The first 4 hr 50 min. homeward-bound leg from CAI to CDG on Air France has always been, is now, and hopefully will remain on an the older Air France 777 unless they sub in a new wide body- last year for a few months, AF used one of their newly delivered A350-900's! (great plane) on that route. Though the older 777 is not ideal (2 - 3 - 2), it still has wider lay-flat seats and is much, much nicer than typical Euro business class seating.

    Right now we can get from CDG to RDU on a Delta 767-300, with arguably worst business cabin- very snug, lay-flat seats in 1 - 2 - 1 or the better aircraft like a newer AF 777-300ER, Delta A330-300, or new AF A350-900 via JFK, Boston, Cleveland,etc. it is just a matter of an extra stop and additional time. There were slight differences in prices up to last night, the direct flight was slightly more, but I just checked and they are now all the same!!!! Wow, prices have gone up in just the last few hours!!!! There are a few more options, now however. I wonder if, at least temporarily, Delta might pull their suite-equipped 777's out of mothballs?

    I'll just need to see what happens when the window for our flights opens on Sunday night!

    RJA EMB 175:

  • I wish the only thing I had to worry about was some air fare increases. I am looking at some of the requirements when we connect through Frankfurt and they look daunting. 48 hours prior to arrival in Frankfurt a negative Covid test. I am hoping that that requirement is not still in place in late September. Where can I get the required test with results back within 48 hours of arrival in Frankfurt? They require both a PCE and Antigen/AG test. The life of us travelers has become complicated. :/

  • JohnS - Test must be taken no more than 48 hours before your arrival in Frankfurt (FRA)

    Good luck with that timing. For example:

    Take test at 2:00 PM Tuesday prior to departure. That means you have to present the results to Frankfurt authorities NLT 2:00 PM Thursday (in time of city where test was taken).

    To even get to Frankfurt lets say you take a non-stop flight from Chicago (middle of US - could be less, could be more. More for sure if it isn't nonstop) to Frankfurt. That's about a 8.5 hour flight. Once landed in Frankfurt, let's assume you can get off the plane and get to where you have to present your results in 30 minutes (probably optimistic). So now we back off these 9 hours from the total. This means you would have to leave Chicago NLT 5AM Thursday.

    Getting to the airport (from when you leave your house), checking in, and boarding. Let's assume this takes 3 more hours. Now you're at 2:00 AM Thursday.

    Assume it takes 2 more hours to get up, bathe, dress, load luggage, find your results online and print them so you can hand them to the authorities in Frankfurt, etc. Now you're at 11:59 PM on Wednesday.

    This means the Covid test results would have to be available NLT 10:00 PM Wednesday. This means you have 32 hours from the time you take the Covid test for them to be available on line for you. You'll be pushing it to get results in this window, but it's doable.

    If you don't have a non-stop flight to Frankfurt or if your arrival is delayed at all, then you have even less time to get your results. Before too long you might be looking at your results for the first time when you get off the plane in Frankfurt. That would be a scary thought. With a negative result you would have eliminated any possibility for a refund, since you would have already flown.

    Not sure I'd sign up for this timeline. Talk about starting your trip in a hyper-pressure situation. A 72-hour window seems much more doable.

    Good Luck.

  • Yes, this Frankfurt requirement is what I posted on another thread. This was not our original flight plan, Tauck called us a few weeks ago to suggest this after our original flights were canceled. The only other option was more than a 24 hour stay in Heathrow. I asked if there were any problem going to Frankfurt if we stay airside and they said no. Now you understand why I just want our JULY tour to be canceled

  • Bottom line, you need the results before you take the test!

  • AlanS
    Bottom line, you need the results before you take the test!

    I know...I have done the math. We are leaving from Seattle so add another 2 hours to your Chicago example. We are also returning through Frankfurt so that adds another wrinkle in the equation. My hope is that by end of September a Covid vaccine will be all that is needed.

  • edited April 29

    You are probably right. My sense is that Europe is dying for American tourist $$ and will continue to make concessions, especially for those who have been vaccinated.

  • I’m not sure countries like Germany need our dollars more than they want to be free of foreigners spreading Covid in their country

  • AlanS
    Bottom line, you need the results before you take the test!

    Possible when crossing the international date line.

  • There is a boatload of travel that goes to all parts of Europe on Lufthansa that connects in Frankfurt. I can't believe that the almost impossible 48 hour Covid test rule will last long. Lufthansa will be flying mostly empty aircraft unless it changes to a more realistic time or allow proof of vaccine instead.

  • JohnS - this is one more reason I avoid, if possible, the United network of airlines, of which Lufthansa is a member.

  • Smiling Sam
    JohnS - this is one more reason I avoid, if possible, the United network of airlines, of which Lufthansa is a member.

    While I am not endorsing or opposing United or their network there are a few reasons I have been using them. I could easily use Delta/Air France or other airlines (which I do sometimes).

    • I have premier status with United which helps on occasion like early boarding or faster check in or occasional upgrades.
    • I have a sizable amount of miles with them.
    • I have a bunch of e ticket credits that have to be used at some point before mid 2022 or they disappear.
    • Lufthansa (a partner airline) had better routing for my upcoming trip.
    • I worked for United during my college years for one long summer at LAX working in the flight kitchen cleaning barf bags and other nasty stuff from the incoming flights. (this has nothing to do with anything but I thought I might mention it for sympathy reasons)
  • JohnS - Being in Seattle I’d think you’d be an Alaska/American guy. 😀 I lived in Seattle for close to 50 years. Everybody has their favorites for reasons that work for them. My biggest beef with United is their pricing/ticketing procedure with respect to business class tickets. They seem to be the only airline that occasionally tries to put you in coach for domestic legs of an international business class ticket. On American and Delta those legs are always first class. With your premier status perhaps you never face that.

  • My ‘local’ airport is Newark which is a United hub. And I too have lots of points. I have used United and their partners often - I am always able to secure great business flights - and when I need to cancel or change the flights it’s easy peazy ... the points are refunded to my account within minutes.

  • I, too, live near a United hub, but I have no airline loyalty. I take whichever flights give me the best bang for the buck in terms of convenience, comfort, etc. Sooner or later, I'll have enough points for an upgrade or free flight. Currently, I have over 100K points on American's netork, but won't use them for Europe, as BA is such a lousy airline at a lousy hub and their surcharge for using points is onerous.

  • I also have BA points (Avios) - but haven’t used them in recent years due to their excessive surcharges. The Points Guy has recommended using BA points for Alaska Air flights to avoid the surcharges. And it seems BA is part of One World ((American Airlines) network so BA points can be used with those partners as well. Since I’ve flown NOWHERE in the last 14 months, I haven’t tried using any these points! Hopefully soon!

  • Nancy, BKMD - The only thing Tucson is a hub for is the Pony Express. 😀

  • And Gila Monsters and Roadrunners too, beep, beep?

  • Ponies can survive in that climate or do they have A/C'ed stables? :)

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