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Why Last-Minute Bargains and Cheap Air Fares are Becoming Extinct

TUI Group, one of the world’s largest travel firms, has recently announced that last-minute bargains and cheap airfares are a thing of the past due to the rising demand for vacations and high fuel prices. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this change and the potential implications for travelers.

Higher Demand and Lower Supply

TUI Group CEO, Sebastian Ebel, has cited that the high demand for vacation trips has outstripped the supply of affordable airline tickets and hotel accommodations. This is particularly true for long-distance journeys, where the cost of air travel is already high. As a result, Ebel predicts that prices will tend to be higher rather than lower, especially for bookings made shortly before departure.

Booking Early Saves Money

According to Ebel, spontaneous bargains will be the exception, and booking early is the key to securing good prices and having a wider range of choices. This shift in the industry is evident as TUI Group and other travel companies have started to offer early bird discounts to encourage travelers to book in advance.

The End of Cheap Flights

Ebel also added that flights for less than €50 will soon become a thing of the past. This means that travelers can no longer expect to get a cheap air ticket for a quick getaway or a last-minute vacation.

Rising Costs of Travel

Data released in the UK in March 2023 shows that the amount spent on holiday and airline travel has increased by 19% and 34% respectively compared to the previous year. The price of jet fuel has also spiked due to the broader energy crisis triggered by Western sanctions against Russia, a major energy supplier. Although jet fuel costs have decreased in line with crude oil prices, they still remain above the long-term average.

Post-Pandemic Travel

As most travel restrictions connected to the Covid-19 pandemic have been removed globally, air traffic is expected to soar to pre-pandemic levels on most routes this year, according to the United Nations aviation agency. This means that the competition for affordable airline tickets and hotel accommodations will be fiercer than ever.


The travel industry is facing unprecedented challenges due to rising demand, higher fuel prices, and post-pandemic travel. TUI Group’s announcement is a clear indication that last-minute bargains and cheap airfares are becoming extinct. Travelers who are looking for affordable vacations are advised to book early to secure good prices and have a wider range of choices.

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