There are lots of reasons why someone would take a flight on the company’s dime. They might be heading to a tradeshow or conference, visiting with a client, or possibly relocating to a new area.
Whatever the reason, companies will be paying more at the gate for airfare tickets than they have in recent months.
We just released our Q2 Domestic Airfare average price and are seeing a pattern beginning to develop. Airfare prices increased 9% over the previous quarter, marking the 3rd straight quarter of increasing costs. In fact, 5 of the last 6 quarters have shown an increase in domestic airfare costs.
Our data is based on 14-day advance purchase economy round-trip fares (both sold and available) in the United States. We took a look at over 1,500 U.S. city pairs across multiple different airlines to assure consistency in our reporting
Now I know what you are thinking – Why? The answer is directly related to increasing costs for both fuel and labor. According to a CNN Money Magazine July 2017 report, Delta Airlines reported fuel prices have increased 18% in the last year and labor costs have risen 9%. Much of that increase in cost is being passed onto the consumer in the form of higher prices.
For companies that means one thing – be prepared to spend a few extra dollars on your airfare in the near future. We already know from a report by the Global Business Travel Association that companies are increasing their business travel spend and are expecting employees to travel more often for work. What these companies might not realize is that some of the extra spend is going to be eaten up by the increasing cost of flights that employees have already taken and are planning to take.
When it comes to relocation budgets, companies may have to look at their policies and assure they are accounting for the increase spend in home finding visits and final move costs. These are the types of costs addressed with our Lump Sum Allowance reports, ensuring that employees are getting a fair amount to relocate.
Where are airline ticket prices going in the future? While many signs point towards another increase, only time will really tell. In the meantime, organizations should be prepared to open their wallets a little wider.