12.6M Americans are planning to book Labor Day weekend flights despite elevated prices

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Labor Day travel – like most things this year — is going to cost a bit more. Still, roughly 12.6 million Americans are planning to book flights, according to a new report.

“Prices remain at historically high levels as demand for travel has been strong throughout the summer after pent up demand from the prior two years due to the pandemic,” travel website Hopper said in its Labor Day travel guide.

FALL AIRLINE TICKETS TO BE 40% CHEAPER THAN PEAK SUMMER PRICES

Labor Day flight prices, according to Hopper, will be 20% higher than last year and in 2019. In particular, Domestic airfare during the holiday day weekend will average $278 for a round trip, up 23% from last year and 20% high from 2019, according to Hopper.

Labor Day holiday airfare will cost 20% more this year, report says

Travelers at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in the Queens borough of New York, US, on Friday, July 1, 2022.  (Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Although most people fly out on Thursday or Friday for the holiday weekend, it's the most expensive time to do so. It costs an average of $333 for a round-trip on Thursday and $323 for a round-trip on Friday, according to the data.

If travelers delay their trip and leave on Saturday, they can save as much as 26% on airfare from Thursday's peak. Returning midweek rather than on Labor Day can also save flyers upward of 21%.

Meanwhile, international travel – which accounts for 39% of travel over the holiday weekend — will average $850 for a round trip, up 34% from last year and 30% from pre-pandemic times.

Labor Day holiday airfare will cost 20% more this year, report says

Travelers pass through Salt Lake City International Airport, Thursday, June 2, 2022, in Salt Lake City.  ((AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) / AP Newsroom)

Meanwhile, hotel prices are down from peak prices earlier this summer, but they are still elevated. Hotels nationwide will cost an average of $189 per night, up 6% from Labor Day weekend in 2021. By comparison, peak hotel prices in June were averaging $193 per night, according to Hopper.

BOOK THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS AIR TRAVEL NOW, EXPERTS SAY

“The nationwide labor shortage has impacted the hospitality industry’s ability to hire enough staff to operate, and has led to a rise in wages for employees,” Hopper said. “The increase in operating costs for the accommodations sector has led to higher room rates.”

Labor Day holiday airfare will cost 20% more this year, report says

Travelers queue up at the south security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport, Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File / AP Newsroom)

Car rentals are also going to be a hefty cost especially as gas prices remain elevated. Renting a car will cost an average of $63 per day over the weekend, Hopper said. The national average for a regular gallon of gas is sitting just under $4, according to AAA.

For the best deals, travelers should book car rentals when they buy their flight or two to three weeks ahead of the holiday weekend, according to Hopper.

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