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Airfare out of Denver appears to be on the rise after nearly two months of ultra low prices

Experts: Travelers beginning to return to skies
Posted at 4:57 PM, May 08, 2020

DENVER -- The days of $20 round trip airfare from Denver to Los Angeles appear to be gone, at least for now.

After six weeks of crazy deals, airfare is on the rise once again.

“For instance, in Denver we’re seeing kind of a stabilization,” said Victoria Walker with ThePointsGuy.com.

On Friday afternoon, Denver International Airport was still eerily quiet for the beginning of a May weekend.

"I've never seen anything like this,” said Michael McGonigle.

Before the pandemic, McGonigle was flying every two weeks for work. This will be his first flight since the end of February.

"People have to try to get back to work and do what they have to do to make a living," he said.

For Steve Beisner, it was a full flight from Chicago to Denver on American Airlines.

"On the way here, it was a pretty full plane,” Beisner said. “There were only two seats that were empty on the whole plane."

Experts say as we get closer to the summer months and as cities and states begin relaxing stay-at-home orders, fares are starting to inch back up. The airlines have also reduced service and cut routes, leading to lower capacity and higher fares.

“This trip cost $300,” McGonigle said. “So fares are going back up.”

Walker said it will be a new experience for those flying this summer.

"The normal, you know, you get on a plane, the plane takes off, you wait for the seatbelt sign to turn off and then the flight attendants start serving ginger ale and snacks, we’re not really seeing that anymore,” Walker said. “That won’t return for some time.”

Many airlines are now requiring passengers to wear masks. They’re also deep cleaning aircraft after every flight.

Walker said there are still some crazy deals.

“From Denver – flights to Cancun for around $200 round trip,” Walker said.

Her team is still advising against travel this summer if you can avoid it.

“That’s partly because there's always the risk that the airline could cancel your flight or the hotel could shut down,” she said.

If an airline does cancel your flight, Walker said you’re entitled to a full refund, not just a partial refund or a travel credit.

“They have to offer a full refund,” Walker said. “You can fight for that.”

On the other hand, if you’re still thinking of canceling a trip — try sending the airlines a direct message on Twitter or Facebook rather than calling.

"They got back to me in about an hour on Twitter," Walker said.

Bottom line, while fares seem to be on the rise, Walker said flight deals can happen at any moment.

“I booked a flight from Boston to San Juan (Puerto Rico) this October for $26 round trip,” Walker said. “Those are the types of deals that occasionally do happen.”