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Arbitrary airfares: 7 million Australians priced out of travel

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The rise in airfares has Australians on the fence about travelling, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,057 respondents revealed soaring airfares and travel costs have deterred more than a third (36%) of Australians – equivalent to 7.2 million people – from travelling.

The research found 31% have found it too expensive and 5% have cancelled a holiday.

Despite the price hike in travel costs, 35% will still be travelling.

Stephanie Yip, travel expert at Finder, said Australians are torn on whether to bite the bullet and give in to their travel desires or hold off as prices skyrocket.

"With all the price hikes we're seeing at the moment, it's no surprise many Australians are thinking twice about their travel plans.

"Pent-up demand, limited capacity and high fuel prices are driving up the cost of airfares as the travel industry attempts to recover from the pandemic."

There were 1,040,550 departures in September – a monthly increase of 98,340 trips, according to ABS statistics.

Finder's research shows more than 1 in 3 (34%) plan to travel during the Christmas period.

This includes 14% who plan to travel interstate, 14% who plan to travel within their own state and only 8% who plan to travel internationally.

Yip said with Black Friday on the horizon there are plenty of opportunities for Aussies to plan for a more affordable getaway.

"Black Friday is coming up and some travel brands have already pipped the event to the post and released their deals.

"Flights, hotels, car hire, experiences and activities have been marked down by up to 75% and we're all for it.

"If you don't want the stress of actual Black Friday or want to book your trip ASAP, this is the time to do it."

To snap up cheap airfares, Yip suggests setting up a price alert for destinations you have in mind and to book as early as possible.

"Weekend flights are typically the most expensive and highest in demand. Flying out on a weekday can really help keep costs down.

"Avoid the school holidays and peak seasons as these will come with peak prices.

"And consider using any frequent flyer points – higher fares mean rewards flights are good value," Yip said.

Has the rise in airfares and travel costs deterred you from booking a holiday?
No, I will still be travelling35%
Yes, it's too expensive31%
No, I'm not planning to travel29%
Yes, I have cancelled a holiday5%
Source: Finder survey of 1,057 respondents, September 2022
Are you planning to travel during the Christmas period?
Yes, interstate14%
Yes, inside my own state14%
Yes, internationally8%
No, I'm not planning on travelling anywhere during the Christmas period66%
Source: Finder survey of 1,057 respondents, September 2022
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