For those shopping for fares now, Hopper’s Corwin says the 737 Max grounding is just one factor that may be contributing to higher fares.
“Given the multitude of factors that go into determining the cost of airfare, and considering that the 737 Max seats represented only a small percentage of overall capacity, what is more likely to happen is that summer travel prices will continue to be driven by larger economic forces, such as oil prices and competitive pressures,” she said.
Whatever you do, if you’re planning on buying an airplane ticket for summer travel: “Don’t procrastinate,” said Rick Seaney, co-founder and CEO of FareCompare.com.
“While you may save money by being flexible about which city you travel to, this summer there are not going to be cheap deals popping up at the last minute,” he said.
Summer is typically the busiest time of year for airlines and Seaney says 737 Max issues are removing about 50,000 seats, or the equivalent of a football stadium full of people, from the system each day.
“Demand will over strip the supply and the 737 Max issue exacerbates that. And that’s never a good place to be inside of 30 days of buying your ticket,” said Seaney. “You’re playing right into the airlines’ hands if you do that.”
—CNBC’s Emma Newburger has contributed to this report.