PDX airfares up with fewer flights this summer

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 12:22 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Emma Molyneux said she’s used to traveling with her husband and two children from London to their other house in Oregon. What she’s not used to is what it cost this year when booking that trip.

“It’s about 50% more expensive to get our family here to the U.S. this year than previous years, which is a lot of money,” Molyneux said. “Then it’s all the added extras that you’re paying for too.”

Taylor Lee also flew nonstop from London to her former home in Portland. But she said she paid about double what she did for the same route last October. She said coming back again this year is out of the question.

“I’m not going to be coming back in October,” Lee said. “It’s just too expensive.”

Even after paying for extras like bags and pre-assigned seats, Molyneux said it still didn’t all go smoothly when leaving London’s Heathrow airport.

“Everybody that’s checking in, everybody that’s going through security lines, nobody knows what’s going to happen next,” Molyneux said. “Because they don’t have any faith that flying and travel is going to go smoothly.”

She said the experience is much better at PDX.

But the number of available flights is down from before COVID-19 levels. The travel booking app Hopper said available flights this July from PDX are 64% of what they were in July 2019.

Hopper lead economist Hayley Berg said that, combined with more people flying, is driving up costs.

“We need to get back to 2019 levels and more to appropriately capture all of the demand in the market,” she said.

Hopper says the average domestic airfare from PDX of $329 for the week ending Aug. 15 is the highest it’s been in five years during the same week.

Hopper says to save on airfare:

· Travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday

· Travel in September or October

· Change to a destination with less demand

Molyneux would also like to see airlines catch up with demand.

“Bring pricing down,” she said. “Families of four that want to travel to see their families - let’s start to make the prices more reasonable again.”