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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Bing Travel Summer Forecast: Domestic Airfares Up More Than 22 Percent

April 22, 2010

REDMOND, Wash., April 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The Fareologists at Bing Travel (http://www.bing.com/travel) today issued their initial forecast for the 2010 summer travel season, revealing an expensive travel season ahead. This year, airfare for summer travel to domestic destinations averages $303 per ticket, up 22 percent from 2009 and 4 percent higher than 2008 fares. Travelers looking into Europe this summer will have difficulty finding bargains as airfare to European destinations averages $1,271 per ticket, up 29 percent from 2009. Although airfare is much higher compared with last summer, savvy travelers can lower their total trip costs by choosing destinations, such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, Honolulu and San Diego, where domestic hotel rates have dropped.

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“Forget about the low fares that were around last year — they’re gone. Airlines have balanced out their capacity, and the result is airfares trending well above last year’s rates and more in line with summer 2008 during the height of oil prices and fuel surcharges,” said Bing Travel Fareologist Joel Grus. “Oil prices could still rise going into the summer, which could push fares higher. And don’t forget about luggage fees, which can increase a family’s trip cost by hundreds of dollars.”

Although ways to save money on air travel are few, Grus offers the following tips for summer travelers:

  • Use alternative European airports for multicountry visits. When planning a multicountry tour, shop less popular airports as your starting point. For example, fares to London and Madrid are typically $200 less than tickets to Paris and Rome. This summer, Madrid is seeing the smallest year over year increase in airfare of European destinations, averaging $1,039 per ticket, while Amsterdam is seeing the largest year over year increase in airfare of European destinations, averaging $1,351 per ticket.
  • Watch for cheaper fares in late summer. Domestic and international fares start to dip lower for travel in September. For travelers who aren’t held to a school schedule, September fares are up only 2 percent year over year, averaging $282 per ticket. The second half of August is also more reasonable, averaging $290 per ticket. Consumers planning to book a late-August trip should keep in mind that airlines traditionally launch big end-of-summer sales in early to mid-July.
  • Travelers should buy now if they see a good fare. The likelihood of fares continuing to increase as the summer season nears far outweighs the likelihood of fares dropping significantly. Travelers with specific dates for travel should buy early and jump on the next good fare available. Bing Travel’s Price Predictor can give travelers specific “Buy Now” or “Wait” recommendations for their individual itinerary.
  • Pack light to avoid additional fees. When shopping for flights, remember that many airlines charge hefty baggage fees, increasing the total cost of your trip. Be sure to consider the airlines’ baggage fees, and when packing, remember that less is more — airlines charge for first, second and overweight bags.

Hotels Rates Continue to Drop

Choosing the right destination this summer could allow travelers to get more for their money as domestic hotel rates continue to fall. On average, premium hotel rates in domestic destinations are down 10 percent over 2009, averaging $166 per night. According to the Bing Travel Rate Indicator, premium hotels in Las Vegas are down 18 percent, and rates in Seattle and Orlando are down as much as 13 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Honolulu, San Francisco and San Diego also have deeply discounted hotel rates throughout the summer.

“Although airlines can ground planes and cut capacity, hotels can’t reduce the number of rooms. During the past two years we have seen that premium hotel rates have dropped significantly, compensating for reduced airline capacity and a rise in airfare prices,” Grus said. “Travelers are going to find higher airfare rates across the board, but if they look into destinations with lower hotel rates they could save on the total trip cost.”

Jon Douglas, managing editor of Bing Travel, shares the following highlights for destinations with lower hotel rates:

New York City

  • National average airfare: $293 per ticket
  • Average premium hotel rate: $266 per night
  • Highlights: Catch a Broadway show this summer, and see one of your favorite movie actors, such as Denzel Washington or Christopher Walken, on stage. Or visit Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which is continuing its 50th anniversary celebration with performances of music, theater, dance and opera, including the renowned Mostly Mozart Festival.

Seattle

  • National average airfare: $313 per ticket
  • Average premium hotel rate: $205 per night
  • Highlights: Seattle heats up every summer with the citywide festival Seafair. Its highlights will happen the first week in August, with appearances by Navy ships, an air show from the Blue Angels, and a weekend of high-octane hydroplane races.

San Francisco

  • National average airfare: $324 per ticket
  • Average premium hotel rate: $160 per night
  • Highlights: In a city known for its many diverse neighborhoods, summer is the perfect time to visit and experience one of the weekly neighborhood festivals such as the Union Street, Fillmore Jazz or North Beach festivals. San Francisco is also unique for its chilly summers, which many seek as a break from their hometown heat.

Honolulu

  • National average airfare: $714 per ticket
  • Average premium hotel rate: $160 per night
  • Highlights: Stroll the sands of Waikiki Beach Aug. 22-28, and you will see the annual Duke’s OceanFest — a quintessentially Hawaiian festival of surfing, swimming and beach activities — named in honor of Duke Kahanamoku, the man credited with popularizing surfing around the world.

San Diego

  • National average airfare: $321 per ticket
  • Average premium hotel rate: $160 per night
  • Highlights: The San Diego Zoo just opened its newly renovated polar bear habitat, now named Polar Bear Plunge, which highlights the effects of global warming in the Arctic.

Bing Travel Empowers Consumers With Travel Science, Not Marketing

Bing Travel helps online travel shoppers make smart travel decisions with Price Predictor, an airfare prediction for their specific trips. Price Predictor shows whether the lowest fares appear to be rising or dropping and provides recommendations to buy now or wait.

The Bing Travel hotel Rate Indicator helps consumers know at a glance if the offered rate for a hotel is a deal based on historical rates. Rate Indicator is available for more than 5,000 hotels in 30 major cities across the country, for reservations up to 90 days in the future.

About Bing

Bing is designed to help people overcome search overload and make faster, more informed decisions when searching online. No longer satisfied with the status quo of search, Microsoft designed Bing as a Decision Engine to provide people with intelligent search tools to help them simplify tasks and make more informed decisions, from simple decisions such as choosing the fastest route to get home to more complex ones such as researching a product purchase or planning a trip. Bing is available at http://bing.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.


Source: newswire