The bad news: those of you who call Chicago your “home” airport will probably pay more for vacation flights this summer than last (that’s assuming you actually flew last year – many didn’t).
One of the consequences of fewer fliers last year is that airline ticket prices during the summer of 2009 were at historic, ten year lows. Now, prices are bouncing back. Fortunately, the domestic picture isn’t too bad (though it could be better).
- Right now, the cheapest prices from Chicago to the top 50 U.S. and Canadian cities cost on average $214 roundtrip – which is up $30 compared to prices in May of 2009
- The international picture is a bit grimmer: cheapest prices on flights from Chicago to Europe are now averaging around $917 roundtrip – up a steep $342 from May of last year
Average Cheapest Airfare from Chicago to top 50 US/CA Cities (including all taxes & fees)
Now, the good news: There are things you can do to get the best airfare prices available.
First of all, do not procrastinate: If you’re flying from Chicago to the U.S. or Canada, check out FareCompare’s Where-to-Go Flight Finder for deals throughout North America – or take a look at deals to cities throughout Europe. This is one cool tool – you can compare prices on different dates at a glance, and save.
Other tips for Chicago fliers:
- Fly on the “cheapest days”: the best deals are most often available on flights departing Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. The most expensive days to fly are usually Friday and Sunday.
- Look for connecting flights: sometimes, you’ll pay a premium for the convenience of nonstop flights – if you don’t mind a stop, you could see significant savings.
- Avoid surcharge fees and sale “blackout” dates: these more expensive times to fly usually cluster around holidays, so carefully compare prices around Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day – and be flexible enough to change your itinerary if need be.
Last of all: Chicago fliers (and everyone else for that matter) should force themselves to pack light. A family of four can save as much as $200 roundtrip by using carryons instead of a checked-bag per person.