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Flying with Ease: Expedia’s Guide to Stress-Free Air Travel in 2024

Flying with Ease: Expedia's Guide to Stress-Free Air Travel in 2024

According to new Expedia® data, air travel is the main cause of stress for 55% of Americans, who find it more difficult than filing taxes or going to the dentist. Expedia has launched its 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report, which unpacks data-backed ideas for saving money and minimizing stress as the busy holiday travel season approaches. This year’s report highlights include:

  • 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 4 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 most expensive. On average, travelers saved up to 13%.2 
  • 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.3 
  • 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 discovered that average ticket prices have remained nearly flat compared to last year, and flight cancellation rates have improved (1.7% of flights compared to 4.1% in 20223), both of which are positive trends for travellers who cite finding a good deal (61%) and worrying about disruptions (28%).

The most annoying types of airline passengers…!!(Opens in a new browser tab)

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“No way should people rather get a cavity filled than go on a trip, so thank goodness a lot of the things causing travel-related stress are getting better,” said Melanie Fish, head of Expedia Group Brands public relations. “Fewer flights are being canceled and technology is helping with tools in the Expedia app 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

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What factors influenced Go First’s decision to resume flight operations starting May 27?(Opens in a new browser tab)

“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.”

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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Airlines

United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

A United Airlines flight from Zurich to Chicago O’Hare was forced to make an emergency diversion to Shannon, Ireland.

On Saturday afternoon after a passenger got their laptop wedged in a Business Class seat aboard the Boeing 767-300. Operating as United Flight 12, the aircraft departed from Flughafen Zürich at 9:46 a.m. local time and took off at 10:08 a.m.

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The captain decided to divert the flight not because the passenger couldn’t access their laptop, but because any device powered by lithium-ion batteries that becomes inaccessible could pose a significant safety risk.

Such devices, if damaged or overheated, could lead to a thermal runaway event, potentially causing a fire on board. The Boeing 767-300, featuring United’s relatively new Polaris business-class cabin, landed safely at Shannon Airport in County Clare at 1:43 p.m. IST (Irish Summer Time) and reached the gate at 1:51 p.m.

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In a statement, United Airlines acknowledged the diversion: “United flight 12 scheduled from Zurich to Chicago landed safely in Shannon to address a potential safety risk caused by a laptop being stuck in an inaccessible location.” This situation led to the cancellation of the flight, and the airline is working to reroute the 157 passengers who found themselves unexpectedly in Ireland.

Frequent flyers are often reminded in airline safety videos not to move their seats if they lose mobile phones or other gadgets powered by lithium-ion batteries within the seats. Attempting to retrieve such items by moving the seat can damage the battery and potentially cause a dangerous situation.

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Air India Flight Collides with Tug Tractor, at Pune Airport

Air India Flight Collides with Tug Tractor, at Pune Airport

An Air India flight bound for Delhi faced an unexpected hurdle during its taxi towards the runway at Pune Airport on Thursday, May 16th.

The aircraft, carrying 180 passengers, encountered a collision with a tug tractor, though fortunately, no injuries were reported among the passengers or crew. The incident, while causing significant damage to the aircraft, triggered swift emergency protocols, ensuring the safety of all individuals involved.

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Upon the mishap, passengers were promptly disembarked from the plane, and alternative arrangements were made for their accommodation as they found themselves stranded at the airport. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated an inquiry to ascertain the cause of the collision, according to ANI reports.

Preliminary findings suggest that the tug truck, utilized for maneuvering the aircraft on the ground, inadvertently struck the plane during the taxiing process. Despite the incident, airport operations continued with minimal disruption. However, the affected aircraft was temporarily withdrawn from service for comprehensive inspection and necessary repairs.

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Air India, in response to the situation, assured passengers of full refunds and complimentary rescheduling. The airline’s statement conveyed, “There was an incident related to one of our aircraft, which was to operate Pune to Delhi, at the time of its pushback. The aircraft was held back for checks, all passengers were offloaded safely, and the flight was cancelled.”

Passengers affected by the cancellation were provided with refunds and the option for rescheduling their travel plans without additional charges. The damage to the aircraft, primarily located near the belly where the pushback tug made contact, underscores the need for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision.

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After Flight Cancellation, Virgin Atlantic Passengers Told to Arrange Own Hotels

After Flight Cancellation, Virgin Atlantic Passengers Told to Arrange Own Hotels

Ian Field and his partner Jane, both residents of the London area, faced an unexpected and costly ordeal while on a trip to St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

The couple, who had flown out from Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic flight VS221 on May 5, discovered upon arrival that their May 15 return flight was canceled for “operational reasons.” Despite Virgin Atlantic’s explanation, Field suspected the cancellation was due to a lack of passengers, as the airline is set to cease the route after May 19.

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Stranded on the island, Field and Jane were left to fend for themselves for two additional nights. Both Virgin Atlantic and their travel agency, Blue Bay Travel, failed to provide assistance or accommodation, forcing the couple to pay over £400 out of pocket for their hotel stay.

Virgin Atlantic advised those without sufficient funds to seek financial help from family members, which added to the couple’s frustration. “We feel completely abandoned and let down terribly,” Field expressed to The Independent.

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The lack of response from Virgin Atlantic and the unhelpful attitude of the travel agent exacerbated their distress. Although Field and his partner could afford the unexpected expense, he expressed concern for those who might not be in a similar financial position.

In response, a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson stated that all affected customers were rebooked on alternative flights and could amend their bookings through the airline’s “rebook me” function if needed. The spokesperson apologized for the delay and inconvenience, assuring that customers would receive EC261 compensation of £520 per person and be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred.

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