Airline tickets and credit card

If you were waiting for some airfare deals to kick in, now is the time.

With the brief fall travel season set to begin in September, prices are expected to drop throughout the remainder of this month, August and into Labor Day.

According to Hopper, the airfare prediction app, domestic round-trip airfare would drop nearly seven percent compared with June’s peak prices. Another 5.5 percent price drop is expected in August, and a smaller dip should follow in September.

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“The overall pattern is similar to what we see in a typical year in that, as we get into the peak travel season in July, the tickets that people are booking are shifting toward the off-peak prices,” says Patrick Surry, Hopper’s chief data scientist. “We tend to see prices fall throughout the summer and into the end of the year.”

Hopper’s report says prices will level off in October, then increase by about two percent in November. That, of course, is to be expected given that the holiday travel season begins after Halloween and as Thanksgiving approaches.

But fall has traditionally been the best – read: most inexpensive – time to travel.

“Fall is really the best time to travel, period,” Tracy Stewart, content editor at the travel deal site Airfarewatchdog, said in an email. “Not only are fares lower, but crowds tend to thin out at major attractions, and temperatures are usually somewhere in the Goldilocks range.”

“If you can sneak in after kids go back to school, it’s always a great time to go,” says Rick Seaney, chairman of the airline ticket comparison website FareCompare. “You’re going to get a pretty hefty price break, especially international” tickets.

There is one potential issue, however.

“The only wild card in the deck for fares this year is the effect the Max 737 grounding will have as it drags on longer than airlines initially anticipated,” Steward said. “Airlines have struggled to make it work as best as they could for the busy summer months, but only time will tell.”