The mileage run “hobby” has more or less been dead the past few years, as we’ve seen huge price increases on airfare due to consolidation and capacity cuts. Going back a few years I could almost always book a transcon for under $250 roundtrip, but as I noted a few months ago nowadays I’m lucky to find a transcon for under $500 roundtrip. As a result I’ve shifted much of my revenue flying to international travel. It’s still possible to fly almost 20,000 miles to China in the off season for around $1,000, which is much better than most domestic fares nowadays.
That being said, we’re coming up on Labor Day, which is pretty significant in terms of airfare. Historically fares go down after Labor Day as the busy summer travel season comes to an end, though the past couple of years I haven’t noticed it too much due to the capacity cuts and consolidation in the industry, which have kept prices high even in the off season.
But for as much as I complain about the high cost of airfare, I think I should mention that for the routes I monitor pretty regularly out of Tampa, airfare is lower than I’ve seen for quite some time now. I’m seeing plenty of transcons for $300-350. While that’s far from mileage run “material,” it’s a lot cheaper than I’ve otherwise seen lately, and is causing me to start booking most of my fall travel. The added incentive is that American prioritizes upgrades based on the time they’re requested, so booking early also greatly increases my chances of clearing upgrades (which I haven’t had great luck with lately).
For example, between Tampa and Los Angeles I’m seeing roundtrip fares of ~$325 all-in. It has literally been months since I’ve seen a sub-$500 fare between Tampa to Los Angeles, so this will definitely get me to book a few trips. Besides, it has been too long since I’ve stayed at the Andaz West Hollywood. Might just have to host a little get together if others will be in town as well.
Anyone else noticing the cost of airfare slowly decreasing, or is this just an isolated event? Here’s to hoping the pattern continues even further after Labor Day.