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Why Are Plane Tickets So Expensive, Reddit?

Traveling by air is now more affordable than it’s ever been, but there are still many people who wonder why plane tickets are so expensive. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the factors that influence the cost of air travel, how airlines set their ticket prices, and what you can do to save money on your next trip.

Supply and Demand

Just like any other product or service, one of the primary factors that influence the cost of plane tickets is supply and demand. The cost of plane tickets can fluctuate depending on the time of year, the day of the week, and the destination. Airlines are also affected by the number of available seats on each flight. If there are more people looking to travel to a specific destination than there are seats available, the price of tickets will increase.

During peak travel season or major holidays, airlines typically raise ticket prices because they know that demand is high. Conversely, if there are not enough passengers interested in a particular route, airlines will reduce ticket prices to attract more customers. In general, the more fluctuation in demand, the more variation in price there will be.

Operating Costs

The cost of operating an airline can be very high. Airlines have to pay for fuel, maintenance, labor, airport fees, and taxes. All of these expenses factor into what it costs to fly passengers from one destination to another. If these costs increase, airlines may have to charge more money for tickets to offset them. In addition, airline employees, such as pilots and flight attendants, receive ongoing training and certifications, which also add to the overall operating costs. The cost of a single airline ticket must cover more than just the price of fuel; it must cover all of the operating costs as well.


Competition among airlines also plays a significant role in ticket pricing. When there are multiple airlines competing on a specific route, they must offer competitive fares to attract customers. Airlines may use factors like frequent flyer programs, baggage allowance, flight schedule, and seating to differentiate themselves from each other in order to attract more passengers. If a particular airline is the only carrier offering flights to a particular destination, they may charge higher fares because they can.

Taxes and Fees

Air travel is not only subject to sales tax and excise tax but also includes a variety of fees. Government taxes and fees can account for a significant portion of your ticket price. For example, the U.S. government imposes a passenger facility charge (PFC) and a security fee on each ticket. These fees are intended to help pay for airport construction and security measures. In addition, airlines may charge their own fees for things like checked baggage or seat selection. These fees can add up quickly, making the overall cost of a plane ticket more expensive.

What You Can Do to Save Money on Plane Tickets

Now that we’ve discussed why plane tickets are so expensive let’s talk about ways to save money on air travel. Here are some tips:

  • Book early: Airline ticket prices tend to increase as the travel date approaches. Booking early can help you save money.
  • Be flexible: If your travel dates and times are flexible, you can often find better deals on flights.
  • Use travel search engines: There are many travel search engines available that can help you find the best deals on plane tickets.
  • Consider alternate airports: You may be able to save money by flying into or out of a nearby airport instead of a major airport.
  • Sign up for email alerts: Many airlines offer email alerts about deals and flash sales, which can help you save money on air travel.


As you can see, there are many factors that influence the cost of plane tickets. Airlines must consider supply and demand, operating costs, competition, and fees when setting their ticket prices. However, there are ways to save money on air travel. By booking early, being flexible, using travel search engines, considering alternate airports, and signing up for email alerts, you can find the best deals on plane tickets.