As airlines return to Europe for the summer, the cost of air travel seems likely to double on some carriers. A return to the US-Europe economy in early June cost $ 2126 with Delta. A first-class ticket for the same Atlanta-Paris flight costs from $ 7,085.
Mind, the borders of Europe are closed to most foreign travelers until at least June 15th. Travel bans at both ends mean that only those with essential reasons for traveling.
This did not stop several airlines from speeding up summer flight schedules for Europe. Delta, Emirates and Qatar are starting on many European routes already today. As the EU’s internal borders begin to collapse, Lufthansa together with its subsidiaries SWISS and Eurowings are launching an important return to destinations in Europe through June. Also on international routes.
Is Delta inflating those prices a little? A return to Los Angeles from Lufthansa to Paris from May 28 costs less than half: from $ 970 for a basic economy round trip fare. $ 1330 for premium economy.
Covid-19 Air Travel Freedom Mail At a price?
There has been huge speculation that post Covid-19 air travel will be cheaper or more expensive. The change in prices between Delta and Lufthansa suggests that it depends in part on the airline chosen.
Flights to and from London from the United States are often cheaper than I find in Paris. However, Delta Atlanta-London offers for May-June sport a similar price: $ 2235 return. Meanwhile BA is selling the Heathrow-JFK round-trip economy in June for around $ 650.
Many travelers take $ 700-900 as a round-trip fare for transatlantic flights. At the start of the crown crisis in Europe, Delta and others sold them for $ 285 in March. Delta tickets cost over 600% more today.
Paying for the central seat?
Do passengers pay the cost of social removal measures on some airlines? Delta is blocking the average seats until July. This means that a maximum of around 60% of seats are booked. Is the carrier increasing this fare for the ticket price and charging consumers for low flight loads?
This is highly possible according to the global airline trade association, IATA. Forcing airlines to block average seats will lead to dramatic price increases around the world, and practically double fares say. “With fewer places to sell, unit costs would rise rapidly. Compared to 2019, airfares are expected to increase drastically – between 43% and 54% depending on the region – only to achieve a tie “.
Social removal measures, cutting the maximum load factor to 62% will impact consumers IATA adds. “This is well below the industry average balanced load factor of 77%.”
Pádraig Ó Céidigh, an Irish entrepreneur and founder of a regional airline, aims to double the triple. And it’s not just the “additional burden” of social removal costs on planes that will be passed on to the passengers it hears. But the additional management costs for airports thanks to Covid-19 protocols.
“The operating cost of the airport is very significant, and obviously that cost is passed on to the airline which is transferred to the passenger,” he told Irish radio Newstalk.
Lufthansa favors the masks on the central seat
According to Zach Honig, general editor at The Points Guy, Alaska and Delta are the only US airlines to block middle seats.
Other global carriers, including Emirates, are doing the same as part of their security measures and to restore consumer confidence in flights. Lufthansa is not among them. After introducing mandatory masks, “it will facilitate its in-flight social distance protocols,” says Honig.
So customers don’t need to pay for that extra seat. Due to low demand, Lufthansa still says that passengers “will be spaced as far as possible throughout the cabin.”
Some U.S. airlines have made a turnaround to charge passengers for the social distance in advance. After criticism from the federal government, low-cost Frontier Airlines abandoned plans for a “More Space” fare of $ 39 each way, ensuring that the intermediate seat remained empty.
The good news is: competition is coming
Higher prices could change due to stiff competition, says travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt. “If demand remains low and airlines have to compete for a limited number of travelers, airfares are likely to use low fares to attract as many travelers as possible,” he told CNN.
In the meantime, are consumers deactivated by the double average price requested by some airlines? “With those inflated fares, every passenger is paying for himself, but also for that empty seat of social distance!” notes Susan, an American in Paris.
Some are happy to return home: “Last week we flew to Atlanta for CDG,” says Californian native Dennis Brounstein, who now lives in Montpellier, France. “At least every other place was empty. The prices are high but they are good. They charge what the market will bear. We are happy to be back. “