Booking at least three weeks ahead of domestic travel can save you hundreds of dollars. That’s especially true of flights involving Atlanta and New York City. On the other hand, Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean offer the least savings for advance purchases. In the case of Hawaii, booking one to three weeks in advance may yield the best price because last-minute deals are sometimes available.
Want to save the most? Purchase domestic tickets at least seven weeks in advance if you can—57 days seems to be the magic number. For international flights, plan even further ahead, between 150 and 225 days.
The gap between prices for premium and economy tickets is beginning to get smaller, though not in the case of most North American flights.
If you would like to look at projections for prices in 2015 at major airports near you, use the link below. It’ll take you to Expedia’s report on travel trends city-by-city.
Here’s the Link to Expedia’s 2015 airfare study.
Fuel prices for airlines plummet. Income from baggage and other fees soar. Airlines add capacity and routes. So what’s going to happen to airfares in 2015? Using its own data and that from the Airlines Reporting Corporation, Expedia thinks it knows.
Look for a rise in ticket prices to the Pacific due to increased demand. Elsewhere, however, increased demand in travel is canceled out by increased capacity and lower fuel prices. In fact, ticket prices for cities including Denver, Dallas, Tampa and Houston may drop between five and 11%, says the Expedia report. Prices to London from North America may rise 4.5%.
There is, of course, no magic algorithm that tells us the best day to buy an airline ticket. But Expedia says by a slim margin, Tuesday holds on to that title. Planning a domestic weekend getaway? Flying Saturday to Tuesday can save you as much as 25% over flying Sunday and returning Monday.
Book more than three weeks ahead of a domestic trip and save between $195 and $225. And booking packages can save you $540 to most US destinations, especially popular resort destinations.
I can’t blame anyone for thinking 2014 was a disastrous year for commercial air safety. Two Malaysia Airlines jets went down. In July, an Air Algerie flight took 116 lives. And, of course, just recently an Air Asia flight from Sydney crashed into the sea.
But last year was one of the safest years in history to fly. In 2014, 992 people perished in commercial airline accidents, the most since nine years ago when the number was 1,014.
So why is flying safer now than ever? Because the number of flights and number of people flying has gone up dramatically. Statistically, the number of accidents should have gone up, too.
Based on the year 2000’s accident rate per one million passengers, the world should have had 39 passenger flight accidents last year. We had nine.
Airlines are buying more new planes with more sophisticated avionics. And there’s no pattern in crashes that suggests a systemic problem. Flying on any major airline, you have a one in 4.7 million chance of being killed. Americans are more likely to die of heat exposure, choking, crossing the street, falling, or unintentional poisoning.
Fly without fear.
–British Airways flew an American dentist and his traveling companion to the Caribbean island of Grenada. Unfortunately, they’d asked to go to the Spanish town of Granada. BA refunded the cost of their first class tickets, but the pair sued for more.
Said the judge, “This case proves the truth of Mark Twain’s aphorism that “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug’. Except here only a single letter’s difference is involved.”
–The pilot of a Southwest flight in January that was supposed to stop at Branson, Missouri’s airport missed the airport by more than eight miles. Instead, the plane landed at the Taney County Airport; passengers were bussed to Branson since the runway at Taney County’s airport was too short for a takeoff.
–In July, an Air New Zealand pilot locked his co-pilot out of the cockpit because he was mad at his colleague for showing up late. The flight’s departure was delayed by 13 minutes until the brouhaha could be settled, and both pilots were temporarily suspended.
–It will be awhile before we forget the case of the daughter of the chairman of Korea Air Lines who in December ordered a flight attendant off the plane after she was served her macadamia nuts incorrectly. The daughter ordered the plane to return to the gate as it was taxing to take off from JFK airport. The chairman’s daughter was fired from her post as head of in-flight services for Korea Air and arrested for obstructing aviation safety. Her father publically apologized, saying he’d failed to raise his daughter properly.
–In November, a woman brought a very smelly pig onto a US Airways flight at Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport on the grounds it was an “emotional support animal.” After the pig defecated in the plane before takeoff, the pig and his owner were booted from the flight. As one passenger remarked, on that day, “pigs didn’t fly.”
–And an Air Asia flight out of Bangkok had to turn back when a Chinese passenger threw hot water on a flight attendant because he wasn’t seated with his traveling companion.