Expedia has released its annual Air Travel Hacks Report, which is packed with data-backed strategies to help consumers save money and reduce stress while they fly. According to this year’s report, air travel is a leading cause of stress for 55% of U.S. travelers. As one of Expedia’s data partners, we provide insights powered by OAG Metis on capacity, flight cancellations, and flight status data for flights originating in the U.S.
Information such as the best times and days to book and fly are among the key insights uncovered by Expedia’s report. Additional analysis this year also reveals that finding a good deal (61%) and worrying about disruption (28%) are big contributors to traveler stress. This insight aligns with our own OAG research released this year indicating how emerging travel habits and loyalty are increasingly being shaped by factors like age, cost, disruption, and more.
According to our data, when it comes to cost, Gen Z (77%) are the most likely to change airline preferences to find flights that suit their budget, followed by Gen X (69%), Millennials (59%) and Baby Boomers (47%). Thirty-seven percent of all travelers changed their airline loyalty due to having experienced significant delays or cancellations in the past year. On-time performance also plays a defining role in loyalty, with 36% of all travelers saying it is the number one reason for their continued loyalty to their preferred carrier.
Our research also found that when cost and schedule options are relatively equal, punctuality is the biggest differentiator, with 82% percent of all travelers, and 91% of Gen Z, saying that on-time performance affects the flight and/or airline they book with.
The following tips from Expedia’s 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report prove helpful as factors like schedules, disruptions, and delays continue to impact travelers’ brand loyalty and booking habits.
- 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.
Read the full Expedia 2024 Air Travel Hacks Report for more insights.