Lonely Planet Writer

Pack your bags - US flights are set to be the lowest in seven years

The amazing news that flight prices this summer will be the cheapest they’ve been in seven years is sure to delight prospective travellers in the US. Now may be the time to plan your holidays as fares for advanced-purchase tickets are likely be down approximately 12% compared to last year and 20% from two years ago.

Fireworks explode over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge during New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney.
Fireworks explode over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge during New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Sydney. Image by (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

The decreasing cost of jet fuel is one reason for these bargains, according to Hopper, a mobile application that provides travellers with the information they need to get the best deals on flights, and notifies them when prices for their flights are at their predicted lowest points.

An American Airlines flight on approach in St Maarten appears to almost touch the beach
An American Airlines flight on approach in St Maarten appears to almost touch the beach Image by Aero Icarus / CC BY-SA 2.0

According to the app, which claims to predict future flight prices with 95% accuracy, an average round-trip US domestic flight purchased in June will cost just $240, which is 20% less than two years ago. It believes the drop should continue pretty steadily for the rest of 2016, and by September, a round-trip US domestic flight will cost just $207.

Even so, getting the best deal with require some strategic planning, and experts recommend purchasing plane tickets exactly 54 days ahead for domestic travel to get the best deals. Hopper also says that it is seeing increased search demand to New Zealand and Australia due to frequent flash sales, while search demand to Europe continues to slide. It also says that if you’re interested in going to Rio, they’re predicting prices will drop 32% this month.

Performer from the Mangueira samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016.
Performer from the Mangueira samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Image by AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Don’t cry for the airlines though as you scoop up your bargain flight. Everyone’s a winner as all of the major airlines have been reporting lower fares in their recent earnings reports, but also record profits thanks to billions in fuel savings. See the full Hopper report here.