The best time to buy
Airfares are like frogs; they hop all over the place. But you can improve your chances of snagging a low fare by following a few guidelines, based on Expedia’s New Heights for Air Travel study.
• Book on a Sunday, when fares can be 16 percent cheaper. (Conversely, don’t book on a Friday.)
• Reserve more than 21 days in advance. Sample savings: Book early, and you could pay $1,462 for a European holiday; wait too long, and the price spikes to $2,226.
• Include a Saturday-night stay in your itinerary. (Exceptions: China and North Asia.)
• Travel during low season: Expedia says to visit Africa, North America and the Caribbean in January; the Middle East in February; and the Asia-Pacific region in June. The company’s data also discovered the best months to nab a low economy fare: January for trips to Southeast Asia, February for Australia and September for Europe. - Washington Post
More comfortable flights?
Air travel in the future should be a lot more comfortable despite economy seats that are getting more cramped. The newer jets that are coming online in the next few years will create a cabin atmosphere that mimics a lower altitude and keeps the air inside the cabin more humid than current planes do. Passengers can experience the more comfortable conditions on some newer planes already in use, such as the Boeing 787. Fliers should notice the changes more often now that the airline industry is going through an airplane-buying spree. Boeing officials say flying is also becoming more pleasant because many of the newer planes, including the 777X, will have larger windows and wider cabins. - Los Angeles Times
It’s high season in most tropical destinations, but a few deals can be found, especially at all-inclusive resorts. Club Med is offering 50 percent off at its resorts worldwide. Most require a three-night minimum stay and must be booked before Jan. 10 for travel through June 24. Rates start at $119 a person a day. The resort chain is also offering up to $300 a person credit for airfare to its resorts in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Ixtapa and Cancun in Mexico. In the Bahamas, Meliá Nassau Beach All-Inclusive is offering rooms up to 20 percent off, complimentary airport transfers and a $400 resort credit to travelers who book at the website and register for the company’s loyalty program. Before the discount, rooms start at $167 at the beachfront resort. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is offering 20 percent off rooms that normally start at $350. Book before April 1 for stays through April 30. - New York Times
Delta testing free meals
Delta Air Lines is flirting with the idea of bringing back free meals in coach class on long domestic flights. A test of the idea, on its transcontinental service between New York and California, was done Nov. 1-Dec. 15. Its morning passengers got a breakfast sandwich or “breakfast medley.” Its afternoon passengers got a turkey combo or veggie wrap. That’s in addition to free snacks. For years, coach passengers’ only option on long domestic flights has been to bring their own food or buy expensive on-board fare. The airline will use the results and customer feedback to determine whether to scrap, permanently implement or expand the idea. - Detroit Free Press