airport

Airlines Commit to Providing Meals and Hotel Rooms After Canceled Flights

Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, put pressure on major airlines to improve their customer service policies when passengers face flight disruptions.

In a letter to the CEOs of major airlines, Buttigieg requested they provide meals if there is a flight delay for more than three hours and hotel accommodations for overnight cancellations within the airline’s control.

“When passengers do experience cancellations and delays, they deserve clear and transparent information on the services that your airline will provide, to address the expenses and inconveniences resulting from these disruptions.”

The Department of Transportation also revealed an online dashboard last week which gives passengers information on which airlines provide accommodations in case of a cancellation or delay. Buttigieg notified airline executives that the department would unveil the dashboard by Sept. 2.

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DOT officials claim that leading airlines made significant policy changes within two weeks of unveiling the dashboard. According to Buttigieg, the dashboard acts as a “tool for transparency” and is not intended to shame the airlines.

If airlines fail to keep their obligations, passengers may file a complaint.

The airlines currently listed on the dashboard include Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit and United.

If a cancellation or delay were to occur, the dashboard checks if the airline will rebook the passenger on its airline or another airline at no cost. It also checks if the airline will provide meals or meal vouchers if flights are delayed three or more hours and pay for overnight hotel accommodations. It even lists if the airline will cover transportation from and to the hotel.

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Data from the Department of Transportation shows that in the first six months of 2022, roughly 24% of domestic flights were delayed, while 3.2%  were canceled. Since the start of June, more than 45,000 flights have been canceled.

The statistics became so dire that the attorneys general of 40 states banded together to write a letter to congress about the aviation industry’s inability to live up to its responsibilities to customers.

“The mistreatment of airline consumers is a bipartisan issue—one that requires immediate action from federal lawmakers. Flying is essential to millions of Americans as they go about their personal and professional lives and is critical to our local, state and national economies. Customers booking airline tickets should enjoy a reasonable expectation of being treated fairly, respectfully, and consistently under the law throughout all interactions during their experience with the airline industry.”

The upcoming holiday season will strain the current system further. Due to staff shortages, airlines have been reducing their scheduled number of flights. For their July schedules, 11 major U.S. airlines trimmed their schedules by 19,000 flights.

Buttigieg said that the department would fine airlines if they do not fulfill the obligations they claimed on the dashboard. However, it would be one small part of “a bigger framework.”

travel

Fall Vacations Increase By 40% As People Search Online For A Getaway

With the summer months coming to a close and the crisp autumn breeze beginning to fill the air, people are still looking for that perfect getaway. 

According to Travel Pulse, a recent study showed that the online searches for travel destinations this fall are higher in comparison to 2021. 

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Travelers from the United States are increasingly setting their sights on international destinations.  Barbados, Ho Chi Minh City, London and Munich among the most popular,  have seen triple-digit increases for fall travel,” stated recent data from Expedia. 

After the recent spikes in flight and travel prices due to a busy travel season throughout the summer, the study also found that the ticket prices for these trips should be at least 45% cheaper during the week of September 26. 

 

“Fall is right around the corner, and while many are looking forward to breaking out their favorite boots and pumpkin bread recipes, autumn also means big travel savings”

 

There also has been a recent trend in travelers looking to visit large U.S. cities as the ultimate travel destination. 

New York City has seen a 75% increase within online searches, Seattle has been up by 55%, Washington D.C. at a 45% increase, San Francisco at 35% and then Boston at a 30% increase. 

The average ticket price (ATP) for some of the biggest cities have also showed the best value of traveling there is in the fall compared to summer. For Seattle, the ATP is down more than 45%, Los Angeles down more than 35% and San Francisco down more than 25%. 

Vacationers still want to enjoy the warm weather before the cold winter starts creeping in over the next few months. Beach destinations have also found an increase in online searches for vacations as well.

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Leading the pack is Barbados which saw an overwhelming 3,360 increase in searches, Orlando jumped up to 60% in interest, Punta Cana increased to 40% and Fort Lauderdale grew up 25%.

Travel companies are also suggesting to those who want to travel internationally to start looking around the week of October 10, when the average ticket should be at least 20% lower than it was throughout the summer months. 

“Many destinations are more affordable than they’ve seen in months, making it the perfect time to have an authentic Oktoberfest experience in Munich or swap out the faux foliage for the real deal in New England,” said Expedia spokesperson Christie Hudson. 

The study also shows that departing your destination midway through the week rather than at the beginning of the week could be another way to help vacationers save some money on their adventures. 

flight

Domestic Airfare To Drop 40% In Fall Months After Pricey And Demanding Summer Travel

After a summer that saw airline prices, staffing shortages, and flight cancellations abound, domestic travelers will get some much-needed relief this fall according to a new report by Hopper, the travel booking data platform.

According to Hopper, domestic airfare will drop to $286 in August, down 25% compared to May’s airfare and over 10% from July’s. Meanwhile, September and October will see drops of about 40% ($238 for a domestic round-trip) from the peak summer months.

Though that estimated price doesn’t match September 2021’s average domestic airfare of $225, it does beat out October of last year’s $240. Hopper noted this year’s August to October drop is abnormally large because of those high prices and earlier-than-usual travel demand peaks.

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International round-trip airfare, meanwhile, will decrease 19% ($179) to an average of $754 in September and October. It’s a massive drop, but unfortunately nowhere close to September ($641) and October ($706) of 2021.

Those prices are also helped by the fact that airlines are attempting to combat the slow season by offering better deals for travelers as a way to “incentivize travelers to plan one more trip before the holiday season,” Hopper explained.

“For travelers who held off on summer trips given the soaring airfares, this lower demand season can mean lower fares and less crowded tourist destinations!”

Among the most trending fall domestic destinations include Seattle ($419 average round-trip), Asheville, North Carolina ($313), Jackson, Wyoming ($460), Hilton Head, South Carolina ($315), and all cities in Hawaii ($500 and under).

As for international destinations, Sydney, Australia ($1,394), Tokyo, Japan ($1,333), Bali, Indonesia ($1,951), and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam ($1,085) are all trending with flyers looking to explore the world while capitalizing on a deal.

Unfortunately, flyers don’t have much time to take advantage. October and November will see slow rises before airfare takes a gigantic boost to $368 in December, with last-minute holiday bookings sitting at $390.

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Travelers have had to bear the burden of airline shortcomings after the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the air travel industry. According to the Bureau of Transportation, 88,161 flights have been canceled already this year, over 55,000 more than in 2021.

While the number won’t come close to 2020’s 263,941 canceled flights, it already ranks higher than any yearly total from 2013 to 2019. Toward late July, Hopper reported travel delays had risen to 25% of departures, equaling more than 5,000 flights a day. They aren’t likely to subside anytime soon.

Of course, the high prices experienced just aren’t due to the multitude of airline struggles, but inflation as a whole. Airfare has suffered the second-worst 12-month price change with 27.7%, second behind gasoline (44.0%).

Even with the potential problems, taking advantage of decreased savings before they — and the tourists paying them — begin to ramp up again in the winter could be intriguing if you’ve been itching to add one more pin to your map of America or the world.

luggage

Lost Luggage Seeing A Surge During Summer Travel Months

Think of all the frustrations that could occur at the airport. Check-ins. Delays. Cancellations. All are sure to give you headaches, but perhaps the worst possible scenario is arriving at your destination, only to find that your luggage is nowhere to be seen.

Not only does lost luggage turn countless valuable hours into a full-on manhunt, but in the event that baggage isn’t found, money will have to be spent on clothes and other necessities. And unfortunately, that’s becoming more of a possibility than ever.

According to data by the Department of Transportation, almost 220,000 bags were “mishandled” — either lost, damaged, delayed, or stolen — by airlines in April. That’s 0.55 mishandlings per 100 bags enplaned.

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American Airlines Network led the way in mishandling with nearly 65,000 (0.72 per 100), while Alaska Airlines Network came in second with almost 16,000. Those 220,000 mishandlings are up from around 93,000 in April of 2021.

The crisis of lost luggage could be seen as the result of a number of factors. For one, travel has seen rapid increases since the reduction of COVID-19 protocols. On July 20, 2.2 million passengers were screened by the Transportation Security Administration, up from 1.9 million a year ago.

Airline and airport staffing is also lacking. Those shortages have resulted in putting the industry on track for the most cancellations in a non-pandemic year, and have an equally frustrating impact on baggage handling.

“When you hit a rough patch in your operations, the bags are going to be affected probably even more so than customers,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, whose airline sent a whole plane to retrieve 1,000 stranded bags at London’s Heathrow Airport last week. It’s a problem some travel analysts expect to carry into 2023.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are a number of actions to take. The first should be to immediately go to the baggage claim office, as some airlines have a certain number of hours you must file a claim within.

One of the most important tips to remember is that airlines are required to compensate you for the bag’s content: domestic flights have a maximum of $3,800 in compensation, while international flights are $1,800. Bag check fees are also refunded.

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“The financial compensation is helpful, because that’s not money you’d have spent ordinarily,” NerdWallet travel expert Sara Rathner told MSNBC. However, you won’t receive the money immediately. Airlines have different timelines for when they deem a bag lost, with some taking up to two weeks.

Traveling light by simply bringing a carry-on is also an excellent strategy, though one that might only work for a brief trip instead of a longer excursion. In the event you do check your bag, make sure to pack an additional set or three of clothes in your carry-on.

If your luggage gets lost and isn’t eventually found, you’ll at least have outfits to carry you over for a bit until you can replenish your wardrobe. The same applies to medicine and toiletries that might be critical to your health and hygiene.

Additionally, ensure that nothing of value, like electronics or jewelry, is placed into your checked bag as airlines are unlikely to cover the costs.

travel

Despite Increased Prices, OAG Study Shows Travel Demand Remains Strong

Despite increasing inflation and prices in nearly every industry, that hasn’t stopped travel-hungry explorers from embracing a world that’s slowly moving away from the COVID-19 pandemic that’s now in its 31st month.

According to a survey from OAG that interviewed more than 1,400 North American travelers, 27% more people are traveling this summer than in the summer of 2021, while nearly 63% of travelers have booked or are planning to book international flights, a number that’s up from 49% in 2021.

The increased demand comes at a time where both airlines and countries are easing restrictions — like no longer requiring pre-departure COVID-19 tests — that have become commonplace within the last two years.

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However, the survey shows some travelers remain wary of embracing remaining protocols. 30% say that COVID-19 protocols have no impact on where they travel, while 22% say those protocols have significant impacts on their bookings.

The nationwide mask mandate that was lifted in April still retains an extremely divisive reaction. 51% believe it should be in place for airplanes and airports, while 49% are happy to be able to walk around mask-free.

In regards to individual ticket prices, most passengers aren’t afraid to break out the wallet in the face of upticks. 79% of respondents said they were just as likely to buy a ticket with a price increase of $50, while 43% said they were just as likely to buy one with a $100 jump.

On the opposite side, only 4% said they were unlikely to buy a ticket with a $50 price increase, while that number was 15% for $100 increases. From $200 to $300 is where travelers start to bulk: only 4% said they’re okay with a price increase of $300, as opposed to 68% who are extremely less likely.

In the last year, the consumer price index for airline tickets rose by 25%, the highest jump since tracking began in 1989. April saw a 18.6% increase alone. The national average fare currently sits at $327.13.

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Of course, COVID-19 and inflation aren’t the only concerns passengers have to worry about. Airlines have also been affected due to pilot and staff shortages, leading to the cancellation of thousands of flights throughout the packed summer months.

That kind of effect was obvious during this past Fourth of July weekend, where more than 4,900 flight delays and 500 cancellations were reported the evening of July 1. Overall, the holiday weekend saw 1,435 flights cancelled from July 1 to July 4, according to FlightAware. Additionally, one in five flights experienced disruptions.

Even with mishaps like that, 54% of respondents said staffing shortages have little to no affect on their travel effect, while only 34% said staffing shortages negatively affect their travel experience.

So why is the demand sky-high right now despite all the potential barriers and negatives? Some experts have called it a case of “revenge travel.” While not an official term, it’s the idea that because of the pandemic, travelers are wanting to make up for lost time and moments.

“It’s a proclamation of “Screw you, COVID, I can travel and I’m going to,” CIRE Travel owner Eric Hrubant told NPR. Hrubant advised that those who do want to travel might be better off waiting until the fall, where they can see lower prices, less crowds, and a wider selection of possible destinations to visit.

Flights Cancelled

Airlines Set To Cancel Thousands Of Flights Due To Staffing Shortage

Unless you happen to have a Boeing in your backyard and a pilot’s license in your pocket, you may be in trouble of missing out on a flight to your next vacation destination. Across the country, airlines are cutting thousands of flights ahead of the summer travel season due to pilot shortages.

No airline has suffered more than Southwest, which has cut around 20,000 flights from June to Labor Day. It’s also pushed up its yearly hiring goal by 2,000 to 10,000. Meanwhile, Delta Airlines stated it was cancelling 100 daily flights from July 1 to Aug. 7 in the U.S. and Latin America, with 517 total flights canceled in June and 700 cut over Memorial Day weekend.

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Similarly, American Airlines is also affected, with CEO Robert Isom confirming the airline had to ground 100 regional flights due to the shortage. “There is a supply and demand imbalance right now, and it really is within the regional carrier ranks,” Isom stated at an investor’s conference.

“We have probably a hundred aircraft — almost a hundred aircraft that aren’t, aren’t productive right now, that aren’t flying.”

Ironically, “reliability” was Isom’s biggest priority when he took the helm of American back on March 31. “People really need to feel like they have control of their itineraries and we give them control by making sure they get to where they want to go on time,” he said at the time. “I just can’t be any more blunt about it than that.”

The shortage has become so prevalent that some airlines are cutting down on the number of requirements potential pilots have to go through in order to fly. Delta previously announced in January it would end its requirement for pilots to have four-year degrees, while Republic Airways asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to hire pilots from its LIFT academy when they reach 750 flight hours instead of the required 1,500.

“Republic is not proposing overturning the 1500-hour rule or weakening safety; to the contrary, we are proposing a more intensive, mission-specific training pathway similar to what is permitted for military pilots under current law,” Republic CEO Bryan Bedford told Business Insider.

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Reports also suggested that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC.) could propose a legislation that would raise the retirement age for commercial airline pilots from 65 to 67, a fix that could help to maintain the current workforce number over the short-term, however low it may be.

It’s not just U.S. airlines that are suffering, either. Germany’s flag carrier, Lufthansa — the second-largest airliner in Europe — and its subsidiary Eurowings announced they were scrapping 1,000 flights in July, while airlines like Irish’s Ryanair, Switzerland’s easyJet, and Spain’s Volotea are seeing strikes.

It’s certainly a problem that doesn’t have an easy and quick solution, and one that might not be ending anytime soon. Back in March, Republic CFO Joseph Allman forecasted the shortage reaching its worst in the second and third quarters of 2023, expecting the industry to be short 8,000 pilots next year.

Unfortunately for travelers, turning to road trips instead of dealing with flight uncertainty may not be a slam dunk either after the national gas price rose above $5 on Thursday. In California, drivers are facing prices up to an agonizing $6.40 per gallon.

Summer Travel

Sticker Shock Could Be A Problem For Increased Summer Travelers

With easing travel restrictions and the overcoming of COVID-19 scares, airlines are anticipating massive waves of travelers as the summer months begin. Memorial Day weekend kicked off that stretch, with an expected total of around 12.4 million flying between May 27 to May 30, around 2.4 million per day.

However, money-savvy flyers might be shocked to see what they’re paying, and disappointed to hear they’re already too late to save on flights. According to travel-data firm Hopper, domestic roundtrip flights are averaging $400, 24% higher than in 2019 and 45% higher than this time in 2021.

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International flights are also up from 2019, though just 10%. Of course, it’s not just the flights that are killing your pocketbook. Accomodations at hotels are averaging $163 per night, up 30% from Memorial Day weekend last year. Home rentals are even more with a whopping $254 a night.

The rising prices had an immediate impact on travelers, with airline bookings dropping 17% in April. Customers spent a total of $7.8 billion, which was down 13% from March. However, demand continues to remain up when viewing it from a yearly standpoint: online spending on tickets was up 23% from the same month in 2019, while bookings were up 5%.

Airlines have been quick to blame the increased prices on jet fuel, which now sit at $146.53/bbl — almost double the price of what it was in 2019. “We have more travelers looking to book fewer seats, and each of those seats is going to be more expensive for airlines to fly this summer because of jet fuel,” Hopper economist Hayley Berg told The Associated Press.

Looking at these flight dollar signs, perhaps you might think a road trip — or using a rental car — is the way to go. Bad news there, too. Prices for a rental range around $60 to $70 per day, while gas is a whole other monster: according to AAA, the average price per gallon stands at $4.5, with states like California seeing digits all the way up to $6.

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If you still have the travel bug but can’t afford the steep prices, what can you do? Appearing on CBS Mornings, travel expert Brian Kelly emphasized to be open about where you want to travel. “There are deals out there. Instead of having the mindset on a destination, choose your destination where the deals are,” Kelly said.

Kelly — who recommended Canada, Colombia, and Europe for international travelers — also suggested looking for alternatives to hotels. While the prices are significantly lower than Airbnbs and other home rentals, you might not get the luxuries you’re used to. “You should just understand that hotel prices are through the roof and services are down,” he said.

“You may not even get housekeeping, room service. So take a look and understand you know what you’re getting. That’s why so many people, especially families now, are booking home rentals. If you don’t get the daily housekeeping anyway, why not get more space and in a better location?”

Most importantly, Kelly stressed to go out and experience some new sights and experiences, a goal that doesn’t need a big check to be accomplished. “Go explore. Go somewhere you haven’t been before. Have some adventure.”

Airport TSA

TSA Warns Of Travel ‘Hiccups For Very, Very Busy Summer’

David Pekoske, the nation’s TSA chief, and airport and airline leaders throughout the nation have stated that there will be inevitable “hiccups” this summer, as the agency is expecting the largest airport passenger crowds since the Covid-19 pandemic first began. 

Pkoske said that labor shortages and an increased demand for travel have already begun to overwhelm airlines. The agency is gearing up to deploy as many as 1,000 TSA agents and K-9 units to the nation’s busiest airports to ideally counter any potential delays at security checkpoints. 

“We expect the summer to be very, very busy. That’s not to say that there will not be some hiccups along the way — those things will happen, but we’ll do everything we can to recover quickly.”

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Some expect airport crowds surpass 3 million passengers per day on the busiest travel days for the summer. The increased demand for travel has also led to pilots complaining about fatigue and flight cancellations heading into the summer at airlines including American Airlines, Southwest, Alaska, and Delta. 

 “Everybody is facing labor shortages; airlines and TSA are no different. At just about every level you can think of in the airline industry we can speak of we’re having labor shortages,” said Paul Doell, vice president for the National Air Carrier Association.

Airline restaurants and car rental companies have also been dealing with labor shortages. Customer service call centers for airlines and passengers who need wheelchair assistance, as well as ground airport employers, have also been struggling to maintain a steady supply of workers to deal with the demand for flights. 

Airlines themselves are cutting thousands of flights from their schedules as a means of helping scheduled flights run on time. This also means that TSA agents and other airline workers will likely have to work harder to get travelers to their flights on time.

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“But regional air carriers, which fly about 43% of all scheduled flights in the U.S., say they are facing labor shortages as employees such as pilots are being poached by the larger airlines. That could create issues connecting smaller destinations to larger hub airports,” said Kevin Burke, head of Airports Council International-North America.

“The pilot shortage is impacting the regionals, and we expect to see the small communities hit the hardest. We expect this to continue to be a trend, but those pain points will assert themselves at hubs as well.”

Pekoske warned that “many travelers this summer could be getting on a plane for the first time in three years, especially as masking and Covid-19 restrictions have fallen in many parts of the country and international travel restrictions are being lifted.”

“The amount of people that worked concessions prior to the pandemic are not there now, they’ve come back, but they’re nowhere near where they need to be,” Burke explained. 

“So we really ask that we try to have patience and understanding when they are dealing with employees at the airport. Everybody’s trying to do the best job they can to make sure this is safe, secure and also as comfortable as it can be under normal circumstances but especially when you have those tough days where you have storms that are disrupting the system,” Doell said. 

Airbnb

Airbnb Cracks Down On Memorial Day, Fourth Of July Parties With Restrictions

If you were hoping to rent a house and throw some parties during the upcoming summer holidays, Airbnb just put a pin in those plans. The vacation rental company has announced that they’re instituting strict-anti party measures for the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends in order to cut down on unauthorized parties.

Guests without a history of positive reviews on Airbnb will be prohibited from making one-night reservations, while two-night reservations will see more “stringent restrictions,” which include certain local or last-minute bookings by guests without positives reviews. Guests with positive reviews won’t be subjected to these guidelines.

“Anti-party attestations” will also be introduced, meaning guests making local reservations must attest to understanding the guidelines and will be subject to legal action from the company should they break the rules.

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It isn’t the first time Airbnb has instituted a crackdown on sizeable get-togethers. The company attempted similar plans during Halloween and New Year’s Eve of 2020, as well as during Memorial Day and Fourth of July in 2021. Airbnb claimed their attempts succeeded, with 126,000 guests without a history of positive reviews being impacted by the anti-party system.

Certainly, Airbnb’s system — while effective — also runs the risk of losing customers that don’t plan on throwing a party, yet don’t have a history of reviews on the company’s site. They acknowledged the dilemma, saying they don’t take these measures lightly and that it’s a necessary business decision in order to promote safety.

“We also understand that the simple fact of not yet having reviews does not mean that a guest is trying to throw a party — this is a trade-off we are willing to make in the interest of trust and safety.”

Airbnb has had a long history with parties, with some tragic instances included that have emphasized the dangers involved. In April, 11 people were shot, along with two children killed, at an Airbnb party in Pittsburgh that saw around 200 attendees. Many of those guests were minors.

Airbnb condemned the shooting and announced they permanently banned the renter from hosting. In 2019, meanwhile, five people were shot during a Halloween party in California that saw a crowd of 100. “We must do better, and we will. This is unacceptable,” CEO Brian Chesky stated following the tragedy.

Airbnb’s current party and events policy prohibits gatherings of 16 or more people regardless of host authorization, along with all “disruptive” parties and events that create disturbances — such as loud and excessive noise and damages — within the community. In order to ensure those policies were enforced, Airbnb launched a 24/7 neighborhood support hotline.

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These kind of changes haven’t hurt the company’s outlook, however. Airbnb’s second quarter revenue forecast of $2.03 to $2.13 billion growth surpasses Wall Street’s ($1.97 billion) as travel is set to ramp up following two years of intense COVID-19 restrictions.

There’s reason for optimism, as Airbnb is coming off a first quarter increase that saw 120.1 million nights and experiences booked, 1.23 million more than analyst predictions. Chesky also noted they’re seeing “higher than historical demand” for the fourth quarter of this year, a sign that travel will continue to be boosted beyond the summer months.

CDC Adds No New Destinations To Highest Travel Risk Category, Though Airfare Set To Rise

For the first time in months, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not added any new destinations to its “very high” COVID-19 travel risk category. The absence of additions is a welcome sight to a category that currently contains 115 destinations, which includes hot tourist spots like France, Turkey, and Spain.

The last addition to the “very high” category came on March 21, when Madagascar — the world’s fourth largest island, located off the coast of Africa — was included. It’s just one of two total destinations added to the CDC’s fourth level since March 14, the other being the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

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The CDC has four levels of COVID-19 travel risk: level four, or “very high”; level three, or “high”; level two, or “moderate”; and level one, or “low.” Level three currently has 33 destinations, level two has 14 destinations, and level one has 36 destinations. Destinations are ranked based on the amount of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over the last 28 days.

There weren’t zero changes across the board when looking at the four categories altogether. Level three saw five countries added Monday — which includes Bosnia, Peru, and Qatar — while level two had six new destinations added. Among those are the popular Bahamas, which have seen a 129% search increase this year when compared to 2019.

As CNN Travel notes, the amount of level four countries has seen a droppage of over two dozen the last several weeks. The surging Omicron variant contributed to a high rise in winter, with 22 countries being added to level four on Jan. 18. In late February, the total level four destinations hovered around 140. Still, level four currently contains more countries than the other three levels combined.

Another positive CDC development is their lifting of the travel advisory for cruise ships, marking it the first time this has happened since the pandemic began. The CDC moved the advisory to the highest level in late December before moving it down a category in February. There are currently 34 cruise ships that have no reported cases, and 69 cruises that are below the CDC’s threshold for investigation.

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While the outlook for travel on all fronts is gradually improving, one area that isn’t a ray of sunshine are costs. According to Hopper, international airfare costs from the U.S. currently match 2019 costs at $810/round-trip. However, predictions suggest they’re set to rise to $940/round-trip in June, a 15% jump from current prices and 5% rise from 2019 costs.

Meanwhile, U.S. domestic travel is taking a greater beating with $330/round-trip airfare, a 7% rise from 2019 costs. Domestic will continue to see spikes, with predictions calling for a 10% increase ($360/round-trip) through May. Both domestic and international airfare are expected to decline into the fall.

The increase in ticket prices can be contributed as a fight to offset costs due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which has resulted in jet fuel prices of $3.07/gallon, the highest totals since January 2014 and up 40% from January 2022’s $2.20/gallon, Hopper noted.

Those dollar signs won’t be detering passengers, however. According to a joint report by Trip.com and the World Travel & Tourism Council, 70% of leisure travelers in major countries plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than in the past five years. The report also found that the important factor for travelers is getting the best value for their money.