Airline Industry Trends: What You Need to Know Before You Book Your Next Flight

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Airplanes sitting at airport gates.

Planning a trip can be a challenge. You need to make sure you book the correct flights for your trip at the best times to travel, all while making sure you get the most bang for your buck. Here at On Air Parking, we’ve taken a look at the latest airline industry trends and have all the details on what you need to know before booking your next flight. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know. 

Book in Advance 

It is a well known fact that the earlier you book your flights, the lower the price will be. Industry trends in pricing show that booking a domestic flight one to three months in advance will afford you the best pricing. There are a number of tools to help you start researching the best flight for your trip as soon as you have your travel dates. 

Past trends show that airfare prices tend to rise in the weeks immediately preceding your trip and last minute deals are extremely rare. For international flights, you’ll want to start looking about two to eight months in advance. As with any flight, the longer you wait to book, the more risk you run of the flights being sold out and you will definitely pay a higher price. In the past, changing or canceling a flight was a hassle and you were subject to high fees, making the change not worth it. Thankfully, most airlines have adopted more flexible change and cancellation policies. If you book early and find a better deal, don’t hesitate to read over the policy to find out what your options are. You may be able to cancel or change flights at no cost to you. In some cases, the airline may issue a voucher for a future flight. 

Google Flights allows you to see several flight options at once and compare times and pricing. Popular travel booking sites such as Expedia and Travelocity often have deals available only through their websites. Of course, booking directly through your preferred airline’s website allows you to include any loyalty membership numbers and earn points and perks not available through a third party. 

Travel on an Unconventional Day 

Flight trends suggest that Mondays and Tuesdays remain the best (and cheapest) days to fly domestically. On average, travelers save around 24% when flying on one of these days. Because many travelers choose to fly right before the weekend and at the end of the weekend, Monday and Tuesday flights also help you avoid a weekend rush at the airport. This can save you from having to deal with large crowds and hustle through hundreds of people trying to get to your gate. Flying on a Monday or a Tuesday definitely increases the chances of having a more enjoyable travel experience.

Because many people have already arrived at their destination, Saturdays are also great days for flying. Ticket prices are about 13% cheaper on a Saturday, which has the potential to save you around $50 per ticket. 

Another great way to save on airfare is to be flexible with your travel dates. If you don’t have to be at a location on a certain date, or have a specific destination in mind, it may play around with your options. Try doing a search for a specific month and a couple of different locations. View the pricing for those particular dates and then try changing your dates around to see how it affects the price. 

If you’re looking to take an international trip, historically, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to fly. While not a huge amount of savings, by choosing one of these days, you can save about 12% on your airfare. We call that better than nothing! 

Business or Pleasure? 

Trends show a distinct difference in the number of people traveling for business as opposed to those who are traveling for leisure. The rising popularity of work from home jobs and remote options have decreased the number of employees who need to travel for business related reasons. While the occasional business trip is still booked, currently, business travel has still not returned to pre-pandemic heights. More people are opting for virtual meetings via platforms like Zoom rather than traveling into an office for a traditional style business meeting. 

Traveling for leisure seems to be at an all time high. Keeping this in mind, it’s best to try to plan your travel around less popular dates. If you don’t need to travel on major holidays, don’t. Summer prices always tend to be higher so if you can wait until after the summer travel boom is over, do. While plenty of people do it, it’s less than ideal to try to book a trip during the months of June, July and August. If it’s possible to wait, that will definitely be your best bet to avoid large crowds and fully booked flights. September and October are optimal times for scoring a decent deal before holiday travel picks back up in November and December. After the holidays, you have a good chance of saving a few bucks by traveling during the months of January or February. Basically, airline travel is all about timing. 

Travel Destination Trends 

Popular destinations for those traveling on vacation include locations in Europe and Asia. If you’re hoping for an international flight, it’s definitely best to plan those as early as possible. Trends show that the top destinations for American travelers are international locations such as Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok.This is mostly due to the fact that popular Asian destinations are finally fully open for visitors following the halt in travel for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Traveling to locations like the Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico or Mexico have seen the most changes to prices when it comes to airfare. Trends show that costs for flights to these locations have increased at a staggering 40%. 

Research also suggests that travelers are more likely to visit locations such as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. While travel has increased to these destinations, prices may still be higher than normal due to flights that are not completely full. It is anticipated that once flights begin to fill up again, prices will drop. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen in 2023. 

Domestically, even though prices are higher than usual, travelers are still opting for warm weather destinations after a cold winter. Travel to Las Vegas, Orlando and Miami has increased in recent months. Most vacationers are willing to pay a bit more for a fun in the sun holiday with family and friends, but the hope is that eventually these prices will come down as well. 

The Conclusion 

Experts agree that travel is up both domestically and internationally. Now that people are starting to venture out, travelers are in search of the best deals possible. According to airline trends, some of the best ways to get the best deals are to book early, be flexible and shop around. It’s definitely worth doing your research and comparing before booking. If your plans change, no worries! Chances are, you’ll be able to reschedule your flight at little or no cost or bank an airline credit for a future trip. It’s very clear – travel is back and here to stay.

No matter where you’re going, On Air Parking has got you covered with airport and city parking available at low rates. With free cancellations up to the start date of your reservation, and complimentary shuttles for airport service, On Air Parking makes online reservations a breeze with our website and our Apple and Android compatible app. You can reach our customer service by email at hello@nosion.io. If you’d like to give us a call, you can reach us Monday through Friday, 10am to 7pm ET, at 888-487-2754. You can also text us at 424-532-8940.