Will the volcanic ash from Iceland and the resulting disruption to air travel last week affect the price of airline tickets to Europe this summer?
That seems to be a hot question in travel publications – will vacationers want to risk being stranded for days if another deluge of ash descends on European airports – or will they choose a different destination for their summer vacations.
An April 2010 article in USA Today suggests airlines may lower prices for airline tickets to Europe in the peak summer season if demand falters. Any changes will occur within the next month. The article also suggests that fares to the most popular destinations – London, Paris and Rome – during the European shoulder season (now through the end of May) have dropped considerably since the beginning of this year.
We haven’t found a substantial drop in shoulder season pricing for travel to Europe; instead, the lowest priced classes are sold out on many dates. As some estimates suggest it will take several weeks to accommodate all the travelers who have been stranded for the past week, it also seems likely it will be difficult to find cheap fares on already full planes before the start of the high season.
Unfortunately, no one can predict what the airlines will do. Most airline analysts, prior to the volcanic ash disruption, maintained that low cost flights to Europe in the high summer season will be extremely difficult to find. Waiting a month for sale fares that may not materialize could result in finding all the cheap fares already sold and having to pay much more for your airline tickets to Europe.