Airplane ticket prices rise for the holidays

As Oklahoma Christian University students prepare to go home for Thanksgiving break, high airfare prices prevent some from making the trip.

According to CNBC, round-trip domestic flights are 13 percent more expensive than last year around Thanksgiving, and prices can rise $10 a day during the weeks leading up to the holidays.

A twitter poll shows 83 percent out of 48 participants in the Oklahoma Christian community said they are not flying anywhere for break, while 17 percent said they are.

Sophomore Marisa Gomez said she flies home to Concord, NC for every school break. She said her parents book the tickets, so she does not have to worry about it.

“From what I’ve seen on my tickets, the prices have definitely gone up,” Gomez said.

According to Gomez, if she was not able to go home, she would spend the holiday with her family in Oklahoma.

Another twitter poll showed high airline prices as the main reason 45 percent of 64 participants were not able to go home for break.

Junior Abigail Dolan, who lives in Bellingham, WA, said she has never flown home for Thanksgiving because the break is too short. She said she only flies home for summer and winter breaks.

“I can say the round-trip cost for tickets home for Christmas break were nearly $150 more expensive than the last two years,” Dolan said.

The increase in flight prices is due to the 20 percent price increase of jet fuel as compared to this time last year, CNBC said. Disruptions following Hurricane Harvey, which struck a key refining region in Texas, have kept the prices high.

The short duration of the break, in addition to high prices, also prevents many international students from being with their families at home during Thanksgiving.

Sophomore Ida Nielsen, who is from Denmark, said she did not consider flying home for Thanksgiving break because it is not worth going for less than a week.

“Just the trip home takes more than 24 hours, and I would only be able to stay home for a couple of days,” Nielsen said. “Another reason for not going home is that it is not a Danish holiday at home, so my friends and family would be all at work.”

Although it is an American holiday, Nielsen said she celebrated last year with one of her soccer teammates in Tennessee, and will spend her break this year in Oklahoma City, OK with a friend.

Professor of Economics and Finance Jana Cook said flight prices tend to increase due to supply and demand during the holiday season.

“More people fly and ‘demand’ airline travel,” Cook said. “Due to increased demand for both travel and fuel, prices for both increase making it much more expensive than times when less travel is taking place.”

Based on Expedia flight data, travelers should book flights for Thanksgiving week 61-90 days in advance in order to save up to 10 percent on the prices. Those who wait until zero to six days out pay more than 20 percent above the average ticket price, Expedia said.

Students searching for cheaper airfare now have the option of basic economy class from American Airlines and United Airlines, which, in exchange for the most inexpensive seats on the plane, deny passengers use of overhead bins and choice of seats, CNBC said.

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