According to new research from Expedia, a leading cause of stress for 55% of Americans, who find it more daunting than filing taxes or visiting the dentist.1

Break the Cycle

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:

Expedia releases its 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report with tips for saving time and money on air travel this holiday season.

    • 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%.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.*

More Findings

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 in a news release. “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.”

Expert Analysis

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 the 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.”

*Price Drop Protection is available for a fee on eligible flights and for free for Gold and Platinum tier One Key members on the Expedia app. A refund will be the difference if the price of your flight on Expedia drops. Terms apply. See the site for details.

Data sources
1 Survey on air travel stress was conducted among 1,000 US air travelers from August 23-29, 2023, on behalf of Expedia by OnePoll.
2 Best day of the week to book, depart, and ideal booking window recommendations based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through August 2023, sourced from ARC’s global airline sales database. Percentages noted are averages.
3 Flight cancellations and delays hacks based on January through August 2023 flight status data for flights originating in the U.S. sourced from OAG’s global flight data platform. Percentages noted are averages.

Source: Expedia