Flights, Hotels: The post-COVID premium bubble is coming to an end

As you know, travel is our passion at TravelGuys.

So we constantly monitor prices to our favorite destinations, but also from our favorite origins. And this, to anticipate our next vacations or our next Business trips.

And the conclusion is clear: the mad rise in air fares and hotel prices is coming to an end. Several indicators allow us to get to this conclusion.

Lower airfares, both in Business and First class.

We wrote a lot on this blog during the COVID crisis to report the difficulties of the airlines and the hotel industry during this unprecedented crisis in our modern world.

After the COVID-19 crisis, it was clear that the general public had an irrepressible desire to travel, as if to make up for the time lost in those two years. This resulted in an explosion in demand, initially, in premium classes, i.e. in the front of the plane. For two reasons: health reasons, since the seat density at the front of the plane is lower than at the back, but also because for two years the general public had time to save and therefore to afford perhaps more expensive trips.

This explosion in demand has caused airfares to soar to major European, American and to a lesser extent Asian destinations. This has led to some crazy situations, such as the impossibility of finding a business ticket between Europe and the United States on a major airline for less than 3,000 or 4,000 euros. Even months in advance. Is this the real price? I doubt it! Because not only are the prices high, but the service is not quite back to pre-COVID standards, at least not everywhere. They took the opportunity to deploy budget cuts and reduce the cost of operations by removing some service moments for example, in short, the quality-price ratio of the airline had collapsed.

But in the last few days, things are starting to change: it is now possible, if you look hard enough as we do at TravelGuys, to find very interesting fares even in high season in Business and First class.

Of course, there are the historically cheap points of origin that we know, such as Tunis, Budapest or Gothenburg, but the more premium points of origin such as Paris Charles-de-Gaulle are not left out.

For example, for this summer, it is possible to find business class round trips from Paris Charles-de-Gaulle to the United States from 1700 euros for example to New York or from 2000 euros for example to Boston. Even Air France is forced to match these prices, a sign of the low loads!

All summer long, New York is accessible from Paris in Business class around 1700€ round trip

From more favorable points of origin, this amount falls to 1400 €.

Bangkok is 1750 € from Gothenburg

To Asia as well, you can find tickets from Tunis to Bangkok around 970 € in business class, and from Budapest to Bangkok, around 1400 € in business class, and those on premium airlines such as Swiss

It is Saudia cuts prices with a Bangkok at less than 1000 € in Business from Tunis (but if you can issue it, let me know)

This is an indication that the Premium load is more complicated than a few weeks ago.

Hotel rates drop, especially in the US

In the post-COVID period, there was even more shenanigans in the hotel sector, with prices totally out of control in major European cities such as Paris, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona or Milan. This has led to abnormalities such as the impossibility of finding a decent hotel room for less than 500/600€ a night in Paris in the second half of 2022.

New York on sale this summer at Marriott Bonvoy!

But things are changing. And it starts with the United States, where all the economic trends start. Also, a simple search will allow you to see that most American cities are accessible between 200€ and 300€ a night in the summer of 2023, which was totally impossible in the summer of 2022 when it was rather around 500€ a night.

Same for Miami, with prices rarely seen

Bottom line

The post-COVID bubble is clearly coming to an end, and it’s for our greatest pleasure. Finally decent rates, and matching to the reality of the service.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.

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