Sky-High in Houston: Unpacking the Expense of Air Travel

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Houston has tons of activities to do and destinations to check out. That’s why many people have this city on their travel list. However, after planning that trip, it’s time to book your tickets. It might surprise you, however, to find out that the flying tickets aren’t cheap. So, why are Houston flights so expensive?

Not only is Houston a popular destination, but it’s also heavily populated. So, there’s a high demand for Houston flights, which comes with increased prices. What’s more, prices are normally go up during the holiday season. We will look at the 5 main reasons.

Airplanes on the active ramp at IAH airport in Houston. - Texas View

What Makes Houston Flights So Expensive?

Many factors contribute to the high prices of Houston flights. The reasons are to do with both the destination and the fact that flight prices are always increasing.

Houston has one of the most expensive airports in the U.S., IAH. That, coupled with the current economic state, it’s no wonder that Houston flights are so expensive.

1. Demand

Houston is the most-populated city in Texas. It’s the fourth largest city in the United States. It also contains multiple science and cultural hubs. Naturally, there’s a lot of traffic to and from Houston.

People are also traveling more often. There were plenty of travel restrictions during COVID-19. With the lift of these bans, everyone is seizing the opportunity to travel.

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This phenomenon, which is called revenge travel, causes a surge in flight prices due to the high demand.

2. Timing

Flights are generally more expensive during certain times of the year. That’s especially true during the holiday season and other months with peak tourism.

Houston flights are particularly the most expensive during July. That’s due to hurricane season in Texas.

3. Continuous Rise in Prices

Simply put, flights are more expensive now than ever. It’s not just specific to Houston. This rise in prices is due to many different reasons. First, jet fuel prices are constantly rising. In fact, fuel prices are double what they were as of summer 2022.

Moreover, plenty of airlines have cut major routes. This means fewer flights, which further increases both demand and prices.

Unfortunately, the world is currently suffering a major economic crisis which caused a substantial increase in prices. Naturally, flight prices will follow.

4. Staff Shortage

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of people to lose their jobs. That’s especially true when it comes to airlines and airports. There was simply no need for extra staff during the travel restrictions.

As travel restrictions subsided, airlines couldn’t cope with the demand with the low staff. So, the cost of training and rehiring staff members can affect the price of flights.

This staff shortage also causes flight cancelations which in turn causes a rise in demand.

5. Climate Change

Climate change is a pressing issue that impacts our lives in unimaginable ways. Well, the constant, unpredictable weather changes can cause sudden flight cancelations.Naturally, this puts more strain on the availability of flights and causes a massive increase in prices.

Texas also has an extensive hurricane season from June to November. During this time, fewer flights are available, and flight cancelations skyrocket.

Digitally generated blue departures board for major usa cities. - Texas View

How to Get Cheaper Houston Flights

There’s no doubt that Houston flights are more expensive than others. However, there are some ways you can save your money, including:

Book in Advance

Last-minute flights are more expensive than normal. Not only will booking your flight in advance allow you to get the early-bird rate, but you might also get some great deals.

The reason is that you’ll get to choose between different airlines, each with its own pricing. You won’t get this luxury if you only have a limited time to book your flight.

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Alternatively, booking your flight a couple of days before will leave you with overpriced, unsatisfying seats.

Use Flights Search Engines

It’s no secret that some airlines have cheaper tickets than others. However, it can be challenging to find the best prices without thorough research.

This is where flight prices search engines come in handy. You won’t have to scroll through endless pages to find a good deal. These websites make it easier to find the best prices available and compare the prices of flights to your destination.

Here’s a list of some popular flights search engines that you need to check out:

  • Kayak
  • Skyscanner
  • JetRadar
  • Momondo
  • Travel Supermarket

Travel in January

If you have the freedom of choice, Houston flights are generally the cheapest in January! That’s because this month marks the end of the holiday season, so there’ll be less demand for flights.

So, if you’re able to adjust your schedule, booking your Houston flights in January can save you plenty of cash. You should also avoid the hurricane season in Texas as there’ll be fewer flights and higher prices.

Fly Through Angleton

IAH airport is the third most expensive in the United States. You can get cheaper flights at any other airport, especially outside Houston!

If you don’t mind an additional car ride to get to your destination, flying to, or from, areas near Houston can greatly help you if you’re on a budget. Angleton, in particular, is only a 40-minute drive to Houston.

Houston Flights FAQ

Here are the answers to some common questions you might have about Houston flights:

What is the best airport to fly to Houston?

The two main airports in Houston, Texas, are George W. Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). While these two airports have great services, they’re also two of the busiest airports in the United States.

What is the cheapest airline for Houston flights?

Spirit airlines usually offer the cheapest flights. They have the lowest cost per mile out of all other American airlines. However, if you’re budget-savvy, you should also check other airlines as they might have offers that compete with Spirit airlines’ prices.

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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
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Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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