Higher demand as well as a reduced number of available seats will cause higher airfare prices next year, even in a slow-growing economy, based on the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast released Wednesday. But prices won’t jump as much as they did between 2010 and 2011, the forecast said. Business class airfares are anticipated to rise the most in 2012.
American Express predicts prices for shorter North American flights in coach will increase by about 2 to 5 percent, while prices for longer economy flights will rise by 0.5 to 3.5 percent. In business class, rates will rise between 5 and 7 percent on shorter trips and between 3 and 5 percent for longer ones.
These increases should stick even if some Americans opt to stay at home amid fears of another recession, as airlines target travelers which are willing to pay more, the forecast said. American Express also predicts that hotel prices will be up in the low single-digits in 2012, much the same as last year.
However, consumers might get a break when renting a car. Car rental rates in The United States are anticipated to stay flat as the industry remains competitive and hold a high number of excess cars.
The 2012 Global Forecast is based on a number of data sources, including data from the American Express Business Travel Monitor, the American Express contracted rates database, transaction reports and other data sources including Smith Travel Research Global Hotel Reviews and Global Business Travel Association research on travel spending.