What can you expect for the 2017 summer travel season? Surprisingly, we can expect lower airfares. According to the New York Times article by Elaine Glusac “What to Expect in the Air This Summer” there are four ways flying will differ from last summer.
Data from Kayak shows that fares for coach class are down 23% on average from last year. Great news but lower airfares mean fuller flights, if that’s possible. One of the reasons for this is that foreign low cost carriers are increasing their presents by 61% driving prices down.
One of the carriers, WOW Air is advertising flights from $189 one way between Pittsburgh and Copenhagen and $189 from New York to Frankfurt, both with stops in Reykjavik, Iceland.
New Economy Classes
In order to compete with no-frills airlines like Spirit and Frontier, giants like American and United are adding 2 additional classes to their economy class; Premium Economy on the high end and Basic Economy on the low end.
Basic economy doesn’t allow passengers to make seat selections before check-in nor can they bring aboard luggage that requires overhead bin space. They can, however, check their luggage if need be. It’s also less likely that families will be seated together as a lot of the availability will be in the center seats.
Mr. Hobica, of Airfarewatchdog said that premium economy on American will resemble their domestic short-haul business class. The forward-most section of economy will be reserved for premium economy on American.
While I don’t expect readers of this blog to be doing many vacations in the Middle East this summer, if you’re flying back from 10 countries, be prepared to check anything larger than a cell phone separately or in your luggage.
Those countries include: Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; Amman, Jordan; Cairo; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; and Kuwait.
American and European officials have discussed expanding the laptop ban on all trans-Atlantic flights, but nothing has been announced. If implemented, parents traveling with children will face even greater struggles on long flights and had better condition their kids before hand with some alternative forms of distractions.
American and Delta have introduce free food for economy class passengers however, mostly for transcontinental flights. Where free food is not offered, United is offering cheeseburgers and fries and penne pasta and meatballs for purchase in addition to their snack boxes.
On the ground, expedited security clearance is also expanding to international carriers for passengers who have membership in T.S.A. PreCheck. The program of the Transportation Security Administration, which requires submitting an application, undergoing an in-person interview and fingerprinting and paying $85 for the five-year term, grants enrollees expedited security at domestic airports. In April, the Department of Homeland Security said 97 percent of PreCheck fliers waited in security lines fewer than five minutes.
Of the four changes we can look forward to this summer, I’m most excited to see airfares going down. How abut you? Let me know how you feel by leaving a comment below.
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