Is the crisis going to burst your vacation budget for summer 2022?

The Ukrainian crisis is already having a real impact on our daily lives, and there’s no reason to believe that things will improve in the medium term. One of the consequences of this is the fear that many people will see their vacation budget soar for the summer ahead.

Airline tickets will cost more

One thing is already certain: plane tickets will be more expensive this summer. Already more expensive than in the last two years, which comes as no surprise given that demand is picking up again and airlines no longer have to slash prices to fill their flights.

More expensive than a “normal” year, also due to higher fuel prices. They have already started to rise, and there’s no way of telling how far they’ll go or how long it will last.

One thing is certain: the impact of the fuel price hike is far from having been fully passed on to ticket prices, and it’s far from over, so book before it is. Indeed

  • Airlines have been taking a wait-and-see attitude, waiting for a clearer picture before increasing their prices, even if this means cutting their margins a little, and it’s safe to assume that they’ll be careful not to apply massive increases that would act as a deterrent.
  • Not all of them will feel this increase: it all depends on their fuel hedging policy. Those who have secured more or less long-term purchasing conditions will continue to buy their fuel at pre-crisis prices for some time to come. Those with shorter-term engagements are beginning to pay a high price. In other words, those who bet on higher fuel prices protected themselves more than those who bet on lower prices.

It’s worth noting, however, that airlines are often quicker to anticipate increases than to pass on decreases.

In any case, expect an increase in YQ/YR taxes on your tickets.

One thing’s for sure: given that we can’t expect prices to drop, and that no retroactive increase can be applied to a ticket already paid for, it’s urgent to book your summer tickets today.

Last-minute purchases don’t pay off

A culture of last-minute booking has taken hold among some people in recent years, particularly during the pandemic when it was impossible to plan several weeks ahead.

It’s a practice that may work for a last-minute weekend, but should be avoided for this summer unless you’re prepared to pay full price, especially as it will reduce your choice of destinations.

So unless you’re planning to go to a high-risk area and are waiting to see how the crisis develops, there’s no reason not to book now. Unless…

Promos and destinations to watch

In rare cases, it may be worth waiting. First of all, countries that were “closed” for long periods during the health crisis are now suddenly reopening. Australia and Singapore are two examples.

The reopening will trigger a mechanical increase in supply, which for a short time will be in excess of demand, which will need to be stimulated (notably with attractive prices), and there may be some bargains to come. But this will only last for a while, and will happen quickly anyway. By June, or even May, it will already be too late.

And then there will be the traditional ” front class ” promotions. During the summer, economy class fills up, and demand for first and business class drops considerably, so promotions are launched in May and June to fill these classes.

I remember one summer finding a Paris-New York business ticket on Air France for departure 15 days later at €1,200, while economy tickets were over €800. Or a Manchester-Frankfurt-Pekin “companion fare” on Lufthansa, where Olivier and I paid around 1,600 euros each for a First Class ticket. These aren’t low fares in absolute terms, but when the gap between eco and forward classes narrows to this extent, you can think about treating yourself.

Lower hotel prices?

If the skies look grey on the airfares side, you may be able to make up for it on hotel prices: Russians will travel little or not at all this summer, abandoning their favorite destinations and significantly reducing demand, which will undoubtedly have an impact on prices.

First and foremost is Turkey, the destination most visited by Russians, who were also the largest contingent of foreign tourists. But there’s also Thailand, Egypt, Spain and Indonesia, which is gradually reopening its doors.

Image : Vacation budget by Romolo Tavani via Shutterstock:

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrin
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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