TRAVEL BLOG

Will airline pricing algorithms start to drive up leisure travel airfares soon?

Air travel is coming back. Now that people are booking more regularly and following traditional patterns, some experts predict the airlines will return to pre-pandemic pricing practices.

man holding tablet with forecasting chart

What would that mean to you? Before the pandemic, airlines set prices algorithmically. This practice predicted booking patterns which allowed them to charge different prices for the same seat.

How do pricing algorithms work?

Through a complex set of algorithms, the airlines take a sort of two-tier approach to pricing. First, one department sets a range of prices based on the flight itinerary and fare class (Economy, Premium, Business, First, etc.) Then, another department chooses how many of the tickets in each category to make available for purchase. As one category fills up, they open the next, more expensive class up for purchase.

You’ve likely experienced this first hand. When you are shopping for airfares, remember so are others. And as people book, the prices go up – sometimes overnight or even within a few hours or minutes. This is why we’ve always recommended you buy when you see a good fare. There are only so many tickets at one price, and once they’re gone – they’re usually gone for good!

The airlines rely on areas of predictability like when people are likely to buy before a holiday, and exactly when people tend to visit family around these times to set the numbers of tickets at any given price point.

Business travel also affects price

Another segment of travelers that the airlines depend on are business travelers. Frequent business flyers tend to book last minute and have less of a focus on budget. This is the reason the airlines sometimes leave seats empty right down to the wire instead of offering deep discounts at the last minute. Business travelers also tend to avoid Tuesday and Wednesday flights – which can also explain why leisure travelers tend to find the best deals on these mid-week flights.

Where leisure travelers would swoop in and snag low prices, airlines make a calculation that they can sell some of these last minute seats at much higher profit margins (usually to a business traveler less concerned with the price).

What happened to airline pricing when COVID-19 hit?

COVID-19 essentially caused the airlines to have to chuck that practice out the window. Without booking data that could accurately forecast when people might buy flights, the airlines had to rely more on live data.

During the height of COVID-19, people canceled already-booked flights frequently and the historical data no longer could accurately predict anything. People stepped in to set pricing where the algorithms used to manage the process.

Airfare forecasting makes a comeback

Things are not quite back to business as usual. There is a shift underway, however. The airlines now see a slow return to more predictable forecasting because people are booking flights again, not being as restricted by COVID-19 concerns.

For the time being, this is mainly a domestic phenomenon. Much of the rest of the world is still in various states of restriction, and a lot of Americans are planning domestic flights but not returning to international travel patterns just yet.

The future of airfare pricing

The pandemic caused technology to accelerate in many areas of business, and the travel industry is no different. There’s long been a push to use dynamic pricing. This is the practice of using live data to tailor pricing in the moment for each individual search. To date, this has not caught on in any meaningful way.

Most experts expect that the airlines will come up with some sort of blended cocktail approach. What would this look like? You’ll see airlines using live data and historical data to serve up prices consumers will be willing to pay.

For now, airfare prices remain mostly more reasonable than usual. However, these rumblings lead us to think this might soon change. Travelers considering a summer vacation, your first post-pandemic trip, or a Thanksgiving / Christmas trip to see relatives you’ve been missing, we advise you to book sooner rather than later. Use the Annual Airfare Study to help guide your choices, and let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. It’s great we can finally wish you an enthusiastic Happy Travels once again!

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How to Cope with a Terrible Traveler on Your Flight

Now that people are getting back to more regular air travel, is it any surprise that reports of rude and aggressive behavior on flights are on the rise?

people on a crowded plane from behind

Last month the FAA reported a surge in passenger altercations. To put it in proper perspective, there are usually a handful of “aggressive or disruptive” passenger reports annually, and this year the number has already hit more than 1,300 reports!

This may seem like an astounding number, but keep in mind this has been a very unusual year and people have been feeling unprecedented levels of stress.

We want to share some ideas about how to cope since irritating behavior from air passengers is not really anything new. The best coping techniques all start with a sense of humor and perspective – and a level head, of course!

Here are a few scenarios you might come across and tactics for defusing a volatile situation.

The “Close Sitter”

Who among us hasn’t been seated next to someone who spreads out and takes up too much room? The first step is to take stock of the situation and make sure you’re truly stuck. Maybe there’s a free seat somewhere close by where you can ask a flight attendant to “relocate” you. If not, politely ask your seat mate to share the space.

Sometimes people are so in their own heads, they just don’t realize that they’re taking up too much space.

The “Chatty Kathy”

To be honest, this person is probably the easiest to deal with. When you know you’re not someone who wants to learn someone’s life story on a plane, keep a set of earphones in and give the universal sign for “I can’t hear you.” If they don’t take the hint you can politely tell the person that you prefer to not chat, or that you’re quite tired and just need silence for a bit. Usually a firm, “no thank you” will keep people from overstepping your boundaries.

The “Smelly” Seatmate

You know this one. He or she can take a few different forms. Maybe it’s a seat meat who immediately pulls out a giant, warm tuna salad sandwich and proceeds to nibble away at it. Or maybe it’s a person who sits down and immediately takes off his or her shoes and socks, to everyone surrounding’s utter chagrin. What can you do?

In this instance, we recommend enlisting the flight attendant’s assistance. This will keep you out of the direct line of fire and earn the respect of everyone they’ve subjected to this bit of rudeness. You cannot get on an airplane and disregard other people’s feelings. The flight attendant can help correct the offender.

The “Unhealthy Boundaries” Guy

In the past, someone who sneezed on you or snored loudly during a flight was irritating, but probably not an active health threat. These days, we’re all aware that someone having a coughing or sneezing fit might actually be putting people’s health at risk. In this scenario, you’re well within your rights to report an unmasked seatmate who is coughing on the surrounding passengers.

If that person refuses to mask up, you can politely ask for a seat reassignment. It’s also a good idea for this exact scenario for you to bring your own mask to protect yourself.

A Final Note

We’re so excited to be getting back to travel, and we don’t want to put a damper on anyone’s enthusiasm. These tense altercations between passengers have often been kicked off by the various stresses of the COVID-19 era. We do believe that air travel should be safe and secure for everyone. People who fight on airplanes can be banned for life from flying specific airlines and will get slapped with steep fines up to $35,000. We recommend trying some calming techniques if you’re particularly susceptible to flight stress.

Getting back to air travel means that we’re coming out on the other side of this pandemic. Let’s keep things safe and sane for all of us.

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Which U.S. Cities are Open for Travel?

For well over a year now you’ve been hearing about travel bans and then more recently – social distancing while traveling. We’ve shared our picks for the best outdoor and remote activities to keep you safe. But now, with vaccinations in full swing and post-pandemic travel restrictions starting to lift all over the world, it seems the right time to point out some awesome cities to visit.

Here are our top picks for U.S. cities that are opening up and ready to welcome tourism again.

Las Vegas, Nevada

las vegas strip at night
Let’s just get the party started – no holds barred. Vegas has been open and in business for quite a while. You’ll find that the casinos are in full swing, but as of June 1, Sin City is completely open to fully vaccinated visitors. This means that restaurants will operate at capacity and hotels will likely see spikes in bookings. Masks are no longer mandated for the vaccinated as well, and live shows are coming back online – check local listings for your favorites.

New Orleans, Louisiana

french quarter at night new orleans
The Big Easy has effectively opened things up for vaccinated folks, with indoor venues operating at a maximum capacity of 250 people. Concerts and bars can also be open, and the only restrictions are for the unvaccinated (please wear your mask and social distance). New Orleans does have one of the most lenient set of restrictions we’ve seen, and the only real inconvenience seems to be a warning to make dinner reservations.

Scottsdale, Arizona

cactus at sunset
If your idea of a dream summer vacation involves lounging poolside with a pina colada and having a couple’s massage, you’ll find the resorts in and around Scottsdale to be a fantastic value in the summer months. Rooms that run you upwards of $600-800 a night during the winter high season can be booked for sometimes 70-80% off. And Scottsdale has a vibrant bar scene that hasn’t missed a beat. Bonus – much of the dining and nightlife is al fresco anyway – come and hang with a fun group of your vaccinated friends!

New York, New York

central park from above
The Big Apple is also back, baby! The governor has been pretty flexible – while bars, restaurant and other indoor venues have been open since May 19 without mask mandates, he did say that individual establishments are allowed to set their own rules. So if you’ve been to New York recently and noticed some places require masks, that’s the reason why. A complicated set of curfews for the city have all been lifted, and Manhattan has already seen a spike in tourist business this summer. Broadway shows are the only real exception – expect to see them back in the fall.

Miami, Florida

miami beach aerial view
Florida was way out in front of some of the other states in terms of opening up – so much so that if you did happen to hear about any larger group gatherings like concerts or meetings in recent months, it’s likely that they were happening in Florida. There’s not too much to say here other than that Miami has a lot of outdoor dining options, and people tend to spend their time doing things on the beach. It’s a great option for folks looking to book their first post-pandemic trip. A federal mandate remains in place on public transportation and at Miami International Airport.

Chicago, Illinois

father and daughter in chicago
In mid-May, Chicago relaxed masking restrictions in most settings other than public transportation, healthcare settings and schools. Bars have been permitted to open up without restriction and no curfews are in place. In normal times, Chicago has an exciting festival season that starts in late spring and goes well into the fall. The city has been given the go-ahead to resume the full festival schedule as of mid-June, so you can expect to see crowds and music and food fests back in full force.

Washington, DC

washington dc at night
The District of Columbia is yet another city to be throwing open its doors. In mid-May the city started relaxing COVID restrictions. By June 11, all remaining restrictions will be lifted, including sports venues (which will be permitted to open at full capacity). Washington DC has some of the best value for the money, with many free museums and activities for the family.

Los Angeles, California

aerial view of the beach los angeles
L.A. has made a slower recovery than other places around the state, but things are starting to come back and there are a ton of attractions to track. The governor announced that on June 15 almost all restrictions will ease. No more physical distance requirements or capacity limitations at all. Masks will not be required for fully vaccinated people at most places other than on public transportation and airports, though partially vaccinated and unvaccinated will be expected to continue to wear masks.

Disneyland has begun the process of reopening, and we’ve shared what you can expect with the new COVID-19 precautions in place.

We’re so excited to see popular cities coming back online. Let us know in the comment sections which cities you’re looking forward to visit. We’re also open to any questions you need answers to about these destinations!

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New York to London Flights in Under 4 Hours?

Aviation startup Boom Supersonic says they’re going to make air travel from New York to London in 4 hours a reality.

sunset view out the window of an airplane

Their plan is to bring back supersonic jets, aimed at breaking the current “time” barrier. Older folks might remember that the Concorde (in operation from 1969-2003) was the only supersonic airplane that catered to commercial passengers.

Inexpensive, Carbon-neutral Supersonic Flights

The issue in the past was twofold. The Concorde was prohibitively expensive and also terrible for the environment. If you bought a flight on the Concorde, a round trip ticket from New York to London (in today’s money) would set you back about $20,000.

The new jets will be as sexy and slim as any jet in the air – as supersonic technology requires – and Boom promises an unparalleled level of seat comfort and spaciousness. The first jets will have seating for 88 passengers and larger windows to prioritize passenger comfort and visibility in the skies.

Fly Anywhere in the World in 4 Hours

Boom Supersonic’s aim is to get passengers from point A to point B – anywhere on the globe – for $100 in 4 hours. You heard that right. Now, that is a lofty goal and far from what is possible today. The CEO says the company is aiming to meet that metric about three generations of aircraft down the road, but the idea in and of itself is tantalizing, and the implications for both business and leisure travel are quite exciting if they can make it a reality.

The first generation jet is called the Overture. Boom plans to have these jets in the air for testing sometime in 2026 and they say the technology will make them fly twice as fast as today’s fastest aircraft. In addition, Boom’s CEO says that the operational costs are 75% less than the Concorde.

United to Buy Supersonic Jets from Boom Supersonic

Though the aircraft is in development and hasn’t yet started production, they’re already generating a lot of buzz. In fact, just this week United Airlines announced they are in partnership with Boom Supersonic to buy 15 of their nascent carbon-neutral Overture jets (the first generation are expected to be available by 2026). United will shell out a cool $3 billion to get in on the supersonic trend early, and put down a deposit of $35 million to seal the deal. The deal includes an option to buy an additional 35 jets for $7 billion if United likes what Boom Supersonic is serving up. Of course, built in is an exit clause if Boom doesn’t meet the strict safety standards set out by United or if they don’t meet regulatory approval thresholds.

So what do you think? Would you be willing to take a ride on one of the first supersonic jets in 20 years? What are your concerns? What routes would you hope to see? Sound off in the comments section below!

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Resorts World International Opening June 24 in Las Vegas

Calling all Las Vegas lovers. There’s a new kid in town. Specifically, there’s a new resort complex in town – the first ground-up development on the strip in over a decade! Along with this news, the development touts itself as the most technologically advanced property on the strip. To that end, it aims to bring the first fully integrated cryptocurrency experience to Sin City as well.

las vegas strip at night

A Casino that Caters to the Crypto Crowd

What does a resort look like that aims to please the digital currency set? Well, we’re all about to find out. As part of its grand opening, Resorts World International has partnered with Gemini, a crypto wallet that allows users to store Bitcoin as well as 40 other alt coins. 

Though details of the partnership have yet to be completely divulged, over the next few weeks more information should be shared with the general public. At the moment, wild speculation has included that cryptocurrencies might be used to gamble at the tables. This might be a bit premature, as Nevada law prohibits any currencies other than the dollar being played on casino floors. We will update this page with any details that are shared – it’s certain that there will be innovations and integrations for cryptocurrency aficionados.

Resorts World International will be comprised of three hotels:

 the Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World, featuring 1,774 full-service guest rooms and suites; 

Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World

the Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World, offering 1,496 contemporary guest rooms and suites; 

Conrad at Resorts World

and the Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts, which has a more intimate collection of 236 guest rooms and suites.

the Crockfords at Resorts World

Other property features include a five-and-a-half-acre pool complex which will make it the largest pool deck in Sin City, Zouk Nightclub, Ayu Dayclub and more than 115,000 square feet of gaming, with slot machines, table games, a dedicated poker room, high-limit areas, and a sportsbook.

Not exactly what you’re looking for? Try one of our other many properties on or off the strip.

Search Las Vegas Hotels

 

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Airlines Discuss Implementing Traveler Weigh-Ins

In “truth is stranger than fiction” travel news, various news outlets are reporting that the airlines are considering weighing passengers before their flights.

travelers in line at airport with baggage

The initiative came about because the current “average passenger weights” are believed to be very out of date.

The average weight of Americans has been rising for many years, and the current numbers are based on outdated information. The Federal Aviation Administration recently issued an advisory where this potential policy change was outlined.

Why is average passenger weight important for airlines?

To make a long story short – the issue is safety. The airlines use this “average passenger weight” to calculate the allowable weights for passengers plus their luggage in order to keep things safe in the air.

How would this impact you?

In the advisory, airlines would be tasked with surveying a random selection of their flight crews and passengers by “random selection.”

The airline would pull random people at boarding to be weighed. If a weigh-in isn’t possible, the passenger will be asked to estimate their own weight and add 10 pounds to account for clothing. If the airline rep has reason to think that a person might be underestimating their own weight – there’s a contingency for that as well. Airline reps would be given latitude to add an additional 10 pounds to the estimation at their discretion.

If this sounds a little intrusive, we get it! And the FAA gets it too. They issued additional guidance for privacy protection including the fact that the scale used must not be visible to others, and that any information gathered must be kept private as well.

image of air travelers in line for checkin

Is this a mandatory requirement?

Still not convinced? At least as of this publication date, the whole plan is volunteers only. So, theoretically if you don’t like the idea, when you are asked to provide this information you will be permitted to decline participation.

All of which begs the question – if it’s optional – how can the airlines hope to get accurate data for their destinations? It seems like a big ask to assume people will be willing to share this personal information, and many people might be offended at the question.

The other option airlines may have at their disposal is to avoid this potential P.R. nightmare altogether and simply estimate weights of passengers based on current demographics.

We’d love to hear what you think about these potential changes? Would you feel comfortable stepping on a scale before a flight if an airline staffer asked you to weigh in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Europe is Reopening: Where Americans Can Go Right Now

A few weeks ago, the European Union announced that the 27 E.U. countries would be open to American travelers this summer, some as soon as the middle of June.

young female tourist in rome

This set off a new wave of excitement in the U.S., though to be clear, some European countries are already open to American travelers while we are still prohibited from visiting others.

Here’s a quick rundown of what European countries are doing to reopen safely, and what you can expect if you’re planning a post-pandemic vacation across the pond in summer 2021. Keep in mind that the situation is changing rapidly. We will do our best to keep the most current information available.

To start, the E.U.’s digital passport system is now expected to launch on July 1. Foreign visitors, like those of us from the U.S., should be able to “plug into” the system in some way to deliver their vaccination status on arrival.

Acceptable Vaccinations
The vaccines that will be accepted for “fully vaccinated” status are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Here are some popular European countries for American leisure travel and their current mandates for visitors:

Austria
Not currently permitting international leisure visitors outside the E.U.

Belgium
While strictly speaking Belgium is open to international travel, the country is not open for leisure visitors and still has a strict night curfew in place.

charles bridge, prague

Croatia
Croatia has been open to Americans since July 2020! Visitors from the U.S. who can provide proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, or proof of previous infection will be permitted entry. Passengers may also be asked to take a PCR test upon entry and be required to quarantine until a negative result is received by the government. Croatia also maintains a list of “low risk” countries whose citizens can bypass this system. The U.S. is not currently on this list.

Nightclubs and indoor dining establishments have not yet been permitted to reopen, with no directives being announced yet. The good news is that Croatia is famous for its plethora of al fresco dining options, with many restaurants only offering open-air dining anyway!

The Czech Republic
While strictly speaking the Czech Republic is open to international travel, the country is also not open for leisure visitors and strongly recommends people limit all non-essential travel.

France
France will be open to fully vaccinated Americans on June 9, according to French President Macron. This change in protocol is predicated upon a new Healthpass (in both digital and paper forms) that will be rolled out in the next few weeks, and may be the first of its kind.

Museums and outdoor service at cafes opened up last week, and by the second week in June, restaurants are to be open for full service. France is also still under curfew, though a staged easing of the curve details in underway. The curfew is expected to be completely lifted by June 30.

Germany
Germany has been battling a spike in infections, but it does have a plan to ease restrictions that has already been actioned, but Oktoberfest has already been canceled for 2021. For now, Germany remains off limits for American travelers, unless they hold dual citizenship or E.U. residency. There’s been no announcement as to when this might change, but we will keep you updated.

Greece
Greece is open to international visitors from the U.S. who can provide proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, and the completion of a passenger location form, so they can be traced while within the borders of Greece.

Iceland

horseback riders in iceland
Iceland is open and has different rules for different kinds of travelers’ health statuses. The unvaccinated have the most hoops to jump through. First, you must provide proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure (no rapid tests will be accepted), in addition to filling out a pre-registration form before arrival.

Then, after arriving you must be tested again (even if you’ve already had COVID and this requirement extends to children). You then must quarantine for 5 days.

Vaccinated folks and those who have already had COVID must also test on arrival and quarantine until a negative result is received.

If you can provide an “adequate quarantine location, you don’t need to isolate in a state-sponsored location.

Ireland
The Green Isle never implemented formalized travel bans, but still recommends essential travel only. The government has slowly started to ease restrictions, with hotels and Bed & Breakfasts scheduled to reopen on June 2, and pubs and restaurants opening on June 7 (outdoor service only).

All visitors must fill out a “passenger locator form,” upon arrival which gives the details of where you can be found for the first 14 days, and arriving visitors are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Italy
Italy has announced it will have a health pass available to international travelers earlier than the planned E.U. pass, so this has given some Americans the impression that the country is wide open. Most of regular life in Italy remains restricted for citizens, though Italy is likely to open borders for leisure travel sometime in June.

The Netherlands
While strictly speaking the Netherlands is open to international travel, the country is also not open for leisure visitors and strongly recommends people limit all non-essential travel.

Norway
Scheduled to open up for non-essential travel on May 24.

Poland
Poland is not open for leisure visitors with exceptions for those with Polish family members or a Karta Polaka card (proving a Polish background).

Portugal
At the moment, U.S. visitors are not permitted to visit for leisure travel.

Spain
Spain is presently closed to American leisure travelers, but the tourism secretary of state has announced that the country will be open to Americans sometime in June, when Spain implements its digital system of tracking (1) the fully vaccinated, (2) those that have tested negative and (3) those who have already recovered from COVID-19 (the three criteria for entry).

english countryside

Sweden
Scheduled to open up for non-essential travel on May 31.

Switzerland
Not currently permitting international leisure visitors outside the E.U.

Turkey
Even though its citizens are currently still living under lockdown, Turkey has opened its borders to those who can produce a negative PCR test upon arrival. We urge travelers to exercise caution with Turkey, as the tourism infrastructure is impacted by the lockdown for citizens.

The United Kingdom
The U.K. has not been officially closed to leisure travelers from the United States, but there are some expectations you’ll need to keep in mind. All visitors must fill out a passenger locator form, provide a negative PCR test upon arrival, quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, and take two tests upon arrival (these tests must be pre-booked – details can be found here).

Leisure visitors to Scotland are not currently allowed.

We would expect the United Kingdom to change or relax some of these restrictions as they too roll out a digital passport option some time this summer.

two womn tourists in venice italy

You might also check out our International When to Buy study, which can help you identify the best time to buy your airline tickets this year, and a fun little post we did to show you which of the iconic sites are open right now all across the continent. We’re so excited to get back to travel. We hope you are too. Please sound off in the comments below and let us know what destinations you’re considering for your first international trip back!

Current as of May 24, 2021

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Do I still need to wear a mask on airplanes if I’ve been vaccinated?

Last week the CDC announced an exciting new guideline: fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor places.

family at airport wearing masks

The new guideline does not override state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations. This includes local or national businesses and workplace guidance that state masks are required.

Vaccinated Travelers Still Need to Mask Up in These Places

You should understand that masks are still required on planes, buses, trains, and at airports, whether you are vaccinated or not. The TSA extended this requirement until at least September 13th. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft still require them too.

You Don’t Need Masks in Most Hotels if You’re Vaccinated

Earlier this week the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) announced their new stance on masks is in line with the updated CDC guideline. The AHLA represents 80% of all hotel franchises including Marriott, Hyatt, Wyndham, and Hilton, so this is good news for the majority of travelers. If you’ve been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance yourself at these properties. It’s probably a good idea to call ahead and find out what your specific hotel’s policy might be.

While things are starting to look much more relaxed, it’s still vital to take precautions while traveling. So don’t forget to pack your mask before heading out for your post-pandemic vacation this summer!

For up-to-date information on your destination’s COVID policies and requirements, check out the AmTrav Covid Resource Center.

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Best Airlines for Tall People

Tall folks who are frequent flyers know not to buy the “basic” airfare most domestic airlines now sell.

tall person in small airline seat

This fare comes with no changes, no seating assignment, and the seat you will be assigned is almost certainly going to be in a row without much legroom at all.

What’s a tall person on a budget to do? Luckily, there are standouts for legroom, and we’re drilling down into the best air carriers if you stand head and shoulders above your fellow travelers.

Interjet Offers the Most Legroom

By far the airline with the most legroom is a carrier you might not be familiar with. Interjet, a low-cost Mexico-based air carrier, operates Airbus A320s and A321s – larger airplanes that offer more room across all classes of service. Interjet also touts the fact it leaves 30 seats open on each flight just to give folks a little extra room.

About the only drawback to Interjet is that it doesn’t offer widespread service, mainly connecting select U.S. and cities with destinations across Mexico and a few others in Central and South America.

The Best of the Rest

If you’re not traveling south of the border and planning to fly Interjet, we’ve got you covered as well. There are a few of the U.S.-based carriers that offer a bit of extra space for the tallest travelers.

Jetblue

At one time, Jetblue was the clear leader for tall folks, as most of its fleet had 34” or more pitch. In recent years, Jetblue joined most other airlines in adding seats/maximizing seats to sell, which cut down on the widespread availability of the “good” seats.

However, Jetblue sells a class of service called “Even More Space” that does offer pitch between 37-39,” which still puts it at the roomiest end of what’s available outside of business and first class seats.

Alaska

No seats on Alaska’s aircraft have a pitch of less than 31”.

Southwest

Southwest offers 31” pitch on its 737-700 aircraft and 32-33” on the newer 737s.

Airlines Not Suited for the Tallest

We won’t dwell too much on the airlines that don’t have a lot of love for our tallest flyers. It’s probably no surprise to you that deeply discounted airlines like Spirit and Frontier have the least legroom for the talls. On the other hand, if you travel light you can’t beat the prices. Just know that if you fly on either Spirit or Frontier they only offer 28” pitch.

tall man in airport

International Airlines to Love if You’re Tall

The thing is that on international routes it’s a bit of a crapshoot. International air carriers tend to fall in the 31-32” seat pitch for long haul flights. Some airlines do you a bit better at 33” – but only on “select” aircraft configurations, which can make it hard to book with reliability.

The airlines you have the best shot of scoring a 33” pitch are:

Air France
Air India
Asiana
Emirates
EVA
JAL
Korean

Most of the rest all fall somewhere between 31-32”.

Avoid These International Airlines if You Need the Extra Space

The less attractive airlines (offering 30” pitch for long-haul flights) are:

Aeroflot
Avianca
Condor
Royal Air Maroc

Keep in mind you can purchase extra space if you’re willing to upgrade to a premium ticket. But we wanted to share which airlines offer the best value for a tall person needing an Economy ticket.

Remember, our flight search results offer detailed information on every flight, so you can see exactly what you pay for with each ticket. Happy travels!

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Capacity Crunch: What You Can Do About the Current Travel Shortages

People are finally getting back to travel which is awesome. On the other hand, you may have heard that there are shortages in car rentals, hotels and even restaurants – which is decidedly not awesome.

rental car door

What’s a traveler to do? Don’t despair. We’ve got some great workarounds to deal with the “capacity crunch” phenomenon, and help you enjoy your long-awaited vacation.

The Rental Car Shortage – Is it Real?

It all depends on where you’re headed. Some cities are really feeling the crunch, while you might find other locales don’t have bad shortages at all. If you do draw the short stick, there are a few tactics that can help.

Book Early

All signs point to summer 2021 being a busy one for domestic travel. The longer you wait to book a car, the higher the price will be and the better chance there will be that the rental companies will be sold out. If you buy early you can lock in your price and avoid getting shut out.

Venture Out from Airport Locations

It can also be prudent to look further afield than the airport rental car counters. Neighborhood locations often have more inventory and better prices. Sure you might have to Lyft to the location, but the trade off can actually save you some cash.

Skip the Car

These days, in most destinations, you can get by with a ridesharing service or even using public transportation. What we’re saying here is that the lack of a rental car should not derail your vacation plans. If you choose to forgo the car, consider booking a hotel near public transport and save yourself parking fees as well!

Staffing Shortages at Hotels

busy restaurant

The hospitality industry is struggling to staff back up after COVID-19, which could mean some disruptions in service for travelers in upcoming months. How can you avoid this icky problem?

Do Your Research

Planning is going to be key for the rest of the year. Make sure you call ahead to the hotel where you plan to stay and get the lay of the land. Are the facilities all going to be open? Will hours of operation be regular or limited at restaurants, pool, fitness center? If you’re the kind of person who likes to have their room completely cleaned each day, is that service going to be available?

A lot of the service shortages that you’ll likely see may have been implemented because of COVID-19 safety protocols. Now they may be lingering because of staffing concerns. Just knowing what the situation will be can help you adjust your expectations.

Longer Waits at Restaurants?

For the short term, this is likely. Again, restaurants are in the process of staffing back up after a devastating year. We think its important to support small businesses and restaurants in recovery, and we’re suggesting a couple of workarounds to help your group deal with longer waits.

Go at Off-Peak Hours

We highly recommend dining at that fabulous place for lunch instead of dinner or early instead of 7pm. Peak dining hours will likely be even more of a madhouse than usual, and you can avoid an extended wait just by going a little on the early side.

Lean on Your Concierge

The trend has certainly been for people to go it alone in recent years, but if your property has a concierge now is a great time to leverage their help. They can point you to restaurants where they may have developed a relationship and help you jump the queue to avoid any hassle.

For the short-ish term, we can all expect some shortages and service disruptions when traveling. Practice patience to avoid frustration and use some of our tips to help you get back to travel in 2021.

The post Capacity Crunch: What You Can Do About the Current Travel Shortages appeared first on CheapAir.