Airfare to Europe Plummets for 2021 Fall Shoulder Season

According to Hopper's latest data, airfare to Europe has dropped under $600/round-trip on average, the first time we’ve seen such low fares in the past five years.

Adit Damodaran - Sep. 16, 2021

Airfare to Europe has dropped under $600/round-trip on average, the first time we’ve seen such low fares in the past five years. Round-trip flights from the U.S. currently go for $565 on average, down 15% from $665/round-trip on August 30th, when the EU travel advisory went into effect.  We have rarely seen fares under $700/round-trip on average, let alone under $600/round-trip.

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Good Deal Round-Trip Airfare to Europe from U.S

This is the lowest we’ve seen prices historically, even surpassing the average airfare low of $750/round-trip from the U.S. during March 2020.

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Good Deal Airfare from U.S to Europe by Year

Despite the travel advisory potentially leading to more trans-Atlantic travel restrictions, search interest has remained high from the U.S. for EU destinations. The dip in airfare is thus likely due to ​​high variance in travel restriction implementation between the various EU member countries. Without a cohesive travel policy across the bloc, airlines may be offering steep discounts on fares as they coordinate their trans-Atlantic route planning with some of the extra seat capacity added back over the course of the summer. 

Round-Trip
Round-Trip Daily Flight Searches from U.S to Europe

Search Demand to Europe from the U.S

Search volumes are currently up 14% week over week for flights to Europe, which is a sizable gain given that demand for international travel typically declines into the fall shoulder season.

Top EU Destinations on Sale and Biggest Price Drops

Just about all cities across the EU are seeing lower airfares, with some of the most notable drops from Summer 2021 airfare including cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Helsinki, Athens, and Milan. 

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Daily Round-Trip Airfare from U.S to Europe

Here we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 cheapest getaways in Europe based on average round-trip airfare we saw this past week. Madrid is the absolute cheapest getaway currently, with round-trip flights averaging just $427, but travelers must present a proof of vaccination to enter the country for nonessential purposes.

Top 10 cheapest getaways in Europe

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Top 10 Cheapest European Destinations

With such great deals available to Europe, we’ve seen a notable uptick in bookings compared to other international regions. Our two-week rolling average of international bookings shows Europe now accounting for 22% of international booking volumes, matching international travel demand to Europe from this summer. On September 8th, 32% of our daily international bookings were for Europe -- the highest since July 9th, 2021 (36%), and before that the highest since February 2020. 

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International Booking Mix on Hopper

Increased interest to Europe and Canada have coincided with a decreasing proportion of international bookings for Mexico and the Caribbean, which collectively still account for 60% of international booking volumes. 

International bookings from the U.S. still represent just 15% of our daily bookings from the U.S. The overwhelming majority of daily flight bookings from the U.S. (85% of daily bookings) are still for domestic flights.

Bookings to Europe are up 33% week-over-week on the Hopper app.

Destinations Trending Up in Searches

Most Popular Cities

In terms of cities, Madrid, Spain (#1) is the destination trending up the most in search interest, having increased 30% in search volume over just the last week. This is likely as a result of Madrid being the cheapest European destination at just $427/round-trip on average, which is down 31% from just this summer. It’s closely followed by Helsinki, Finland (#2), Dublin, Ireland (#3), Copenhagen, Denmark (#4), and Zurich, Switzerland (#5).

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Daily Searches from U.S to Europe, by Cities

Most Popular Countries

In terms of countries, Spain (#1) is the country seeing the strongest search demand, followed by France (#2), and Ireland (#3).  Week-over-week, Spain is up 18% in search interest from the U.S., with France up 18% and Ireland up 26%. 

Searches
Searches from the U.S to Europe, by Country

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