According to new research from Expedia®, air travel is a leading cause of stress for 55% of Americans, who find it more daunting than filing taxes or visiting the dentist. Air travel stress
To help break the cycle of stress as the busy holiday travel season approaches, Expedia released its 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report, unpacking data-backed strategies for saving money and reducing stress.
Hacks from this year’s report include:
- The booking sweet spot just got sweeter:
- Domestic airfare should be booked 28 days before departure; travelers saved up to 24% compared to those who booked at the last minute, surpassing the 10% savings travelers saw on average in 2022.
- International airfare should be booked around 60 days out (and no more than four months out) for optimal availability and savings (around 10% on average). Last year, the sweet spot was closer to six months out.
- Sunday remains the cheapest day of the week to book flights, while Fridays are the most expensive. On average, travelers saved up to 13%.
- Fly before 3 p.m. to minimize the impact of delays and cancellations. Flights departing after 3 p.m. statistically have a 50% higher chance of being canceled than earlier flights.
- There’s officially no bad time to book, with Expedia’s Price Drop Protection: More than a quarter (28%) of U.S. travelers continue checking ticket prices even after they’ve booked, but this new product issues a refund if the price of the ticket drops on Expedia after booking.
The analysis also found that average ticket prices remain nearly flat compared to last year and flight cancellation rates have improved (1.7% of flights compared to 4.1% in 20223), positive trends for travelers that cited finding a good deal (61%) and worrying about disruptions (28%) as big contributors to stress.
“In terms of stress levels, booking your next flight shouldn’t be in the same ballpark as getting a cavity filled,” said Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group Brands public relations. “The good news is many of the things that contribute to travel stress are getting better, and Expedia is constantly releasing new tools like Price Tracking and Price Drop Protection that make the whole booking and flying journey smoother.”
Expedia’s annual Air Travel Hacks Report is backed by an analysis of billions of data points and the most extensive air ticketing database in the world through collaboration with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and OAG.
“Airlines are adding capacity and increasing service to meet the sustained air travel demand we’ve seen throughout 2023,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data science and research at ARC. “Air travel has proven resilient over the past few years, with travelers increasingly taking to the skies for both business and leisure. Fortunately for those travelers, the cost of airfare has been below 2022 levels for most of the year.”
About Expedia Air travel stress
Expedia® is one of the world’s leading full-service travel brands, with a mission of helping travelers get the most out of every trip they take by providing everything they need all in one place, ensuring they are getting the most out of every trip they take, and above all else, feel supported every step of the way.