The CDC rates its travel notices in 3 broad categories:

  • Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
  • Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
  • Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

Say I have to travel to one of these destinations in a few months (not 'Nonessential Travel'), e.g. for education, family or work.

As of now, given the situation with the novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 there have been news about reduced demand of travelers to countries that fall under one of these ratings, like South Korea, Italy and Hong Kong.

This time I'm asking because of the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, but in general, do these type of situations that decrease demand to destinations also have a considerable correlation with flight ticket prices? There seems to be a balancing force by cancelling routes or decreasing flight frequency, but I am unsure if it is relevant.

If so, besides using aggregators like the ones mentioned (Skyscanner, Expedia, Travelocity), what should I be doing to find reduced prices to book flights to these destinations when there is a reduction in demand due to special circumstances, like the current health epidemic?

  • I really doubt you can get real bargains. Cheaper prices maybe, but you have to think that airlines reschedule their flight frequencies to meet new travelers flow changes.
    – Ivan
    Mar 4, 2020 at 16:19
  • But the flight out might become much more expensive...
    – xuq01
    Mar 4, 2020 at 20:52
  • @Ivan - I do flight deal hunting for my site (beatthatflight.com.au). Good grief there have been some amazing sales recently. Especially to Japan (one of the most visited places from Australia), NZ (And to Aus from NZ - we're talking $69 one way!) and even domestic in NZ ($9 flights on AIrNZ). It's definitely noticeable. Many articles about it too. Yes they'll reduce flights, but they still need to try and fill planes!
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 5, 2020 at 3:38
  • @MarkMayo Are you sure these prices are cheaper because the virus? I can't say anything about Australia, but from Europe I can't definitively say that the current prices are lower than in any other year at February/March dates. I.e. I got a deal to Vietnam and I'll flight in April for 378€ return. That's a good price, but last year without coronavirus I could get similar price to SEA. I feel that media is over-reacting to coronavirus and need to give big news about that, but I can't find a real correlation between the virus and the flight prices yet.
    – Ivan
    Mar 6, 2020 at 9:41
  • 1
    @Ivan yes. Definitely. For example, anything to the west coast of US is always $800-950. Always. A sale is if it creeps under the magical 800, and currently you can get tickets to the EAST coast of the US for around $700. This has never happened in the two years that I've been running the site, and for the many years of flight watching I did before that. When these sales are announced (eg the AirNZ one), all the reporting has been on the coronavirus reducing seat numbers. Queenstown NZ is desperately trying to invite people in as their numbers have been half what they normally are. :/
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 7, 2020 at 1:26