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Shadow of an airliner over a blue water and a white-sand beach.

Nonstop Flights To Make Your Travels Easier

As airlines continue to expand post-Covid, travelers can access an increasing variety of appealing destinations all across the globe via nonstop flights—a smart choice that minimizes the chance of your trip getting disrupted by delays or cancellations.

Below are our favorite routes (some new, some revitalized since Covid) that savvy travelers should know about.

We’re updating this article frequently as airlines announce new nonstop flights, so bookmark this page and come back for the latest intel.


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Europe
Canada
Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands
Middle East and Africa
Latin America
Asia

 


Europe

Atlanta to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Delta and KLM
Atlanta to Athens, Greece, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Barcelona, Spain, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS (begins June 17, 2024)
Atlanta to Paris, France, on Delta and Air France
Atlanta to Dublin, Ireland, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Edinburgh, Scotland, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Frankfurt, Germany, on Delta
Atlanta to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Atlanta to London (Heathrow), England, on Delta and British Airways
Atlanta to Madrid, Spain, on Delta
Atlanta to Manchester, England, on Virgin Atlantic (seasonal)
Atlanta to Milan, Italy, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Munich, Germany, on Delta
Atlanta to Paris, France, on Air France and Delta
Atlanta to Nice, France, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Rome, Italy, on Delta
Atlanta to Shannon, Ireland, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Stuttgart, Germany, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Venice, Italy, on Delta (seasonal)
Atlanta to Zurich, Switzerland, on Delta (begins May 31, 2024)

Austin to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on KLM
Austin to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa
Austin to London (Heathrow), England, on Virgin Atlantic and British Airways

Baltimore to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways
Baltimore to Reykjavik, Iceland on Icelandair and PLAY (seasonal)

Boston to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on JetBlue (through October)
Boston to Athens, Greece, on Delta (seasonal)
Boston to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS
Boston to Barcelona, Spain, on LEVEL (seasonal)
Boston to Dublin, Ireland, on JetBlue (seasonal, through September 30, 2024)
Boston to Frankfurt, Germany. on Condor
Boston to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Boston to London (Gatwick), England, on Norse Atlantic and JetBlue
Boston to London (Heathrow), England, on United (through summer)
Boston to Munich, Germany on Lufthansa
Boston to Paris (CDG), France, on JetBlue
Boston to Porto, Portugal, on Azores (begins on June 4, 2024)
Boston to Reykjavik, Iceland, on PLAY (seasonal) and Icelandair
Boston to Shannon, Ireland, on Delta (seasonal)
Boston to Vienna, Austria, on Austrian (begins on July 1, 2024)

Charlotte to Dublin, Ireland, on American and Aer Lingus (both seasonal)
Charlotte to Frankfurt, Germany, on American
Charlotte to London (Heathrow), England, on American
Charlotte to Madrid, Spain, on American
Charlotte to Munich, Germany, on American
Charlotte to Paris, France, on American (seasonal)
Charlotte to Rome, Italy, on American (seasonal)

Chicago/O’Hare to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Athens, Greece, on American (seasonal, begins May 6, 2024) and United (seasonal, operates May 28-August 18, 2024)
Chicago/O’Hare to Barcelona, Spain, on United (seasonal)
Chicago/O’Hare to Brussels, Belgium, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS
Chicago/O’Hare to Edinburgh, Scotland, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Frankfurt, Germany, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Chicago/O’Hare to London (Heathrow), England, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Milan (Malpensa), Italy, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Munich, Germany, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Reykjavik, Iceland, on United (seasonal)
Chicago/O’Hare to Rome, Italy, on United (seasonal)
Chicago/O’Hare to Shannon, Ireland, on United (seasonal)
Chicago/O’Hare to Venice, Italy, on American (seasonal, begins June 5, 2024)
Chicago/O’Hare to Warsaw, Poland, on LOT
Chicago/O’Hare to Zurich, Switzerland, on United

Cincinnati to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways (seasonal)

Cleveland to Dublin, Ireland, on Aer Lingus (seasonal)

Dallas/Fort Worth to Barcelona, Spain, on American
Dallas/Fort Worth to Dublin, Ireland, on American
Dallas/Fort Worth to Frankfurt, Germany, on American, Lufthansa
Dallas/Fort Worth to Helsinki, Finland, on Finnair
Dallas/Fort Worth to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish
Dallas/Fort Worth to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways and American
Dallas/Fort Worth to Madrid, Spain, on Iberia
Dallas/Fort Worth to Paris (CDG), France, on American and Air France
Dallas/Fort Worth to Rome, Italy, on American

Denver to Frankfurt, Germany, on United and Lufthansa
Denver to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines (begins June 11, 2024)
Denver to London (Heathrow), England, on United and British Airways
Denver to Munich, Germany, on Lufthansa
Denver to Paris (CDG), France, on Air France
Denver to Munich, Germany, on United
Denver to Reykjavik, Iceland, on Icelandair
Denver to Zurich, Switzerland, on Swiss

Detroit to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Delta
Detroit to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa and Delta
Detroit to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Detroit to London (Heathrow), England, on Delta
Detroit to Munich, Germany, on Delta
Detroit to Paris (CDG), France,  on Air France and Delta
Detroit to Reykjavik, Iceland, on Delta and Icelandair
Detroit to Rome, Italy, on Delta

Fort Myers to Frankfurt, Germany, on Eurowings Discover

Houston to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on United
Houston to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa and United
Houston to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Houston to London (Heathrow), England, on United
Houston to Munich, Germany, on United
Houston to Paris (CDG), France, on Air France

Las Vegas to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Delta
Las Vegas to Frankfurt, Germany, on Eurowings Discover and Condor
Las Vegas to London (Gatwick), England, on Norse Atlantic
Las Vegas to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic
Las Vegas to Munich, Germany, on Eurowings Discover
Las Vegas to Zurich, Switzerland, on Swiss

Los Angeles to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on KLM
Los Angeles to Barcelona, Spain, on Iberia
Los Angeles to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS
Los Angeles to Dublin, Ireland, on Aer Lingus
Los Angeles to Frankfurt, Germany, on Condor (seasonal)
Los Angeles to London (Gatwick), England, on Norse Atlantic
Los Angeles to London (Heathrow), England, on Delta, Virgin Atlantic and United
Los Angeles to Paris (CDG), France, on Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, Delta, and Norse Atlantic (seasonal)
Los Angeles to Paris (Orly), France, on French Bee
Los Angeles to Warsaw, Poland, on LOT

Miami to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on KLM (halts service summer 2024)
Miami to Berlin, Germany, on Norse Atlantic
Miami to Frankfurt, Germany, on Condor
Miami to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Miami to London (Gatwick), England, on Norse Atlantic, British Airways, American
Miami to Oslo, Norway, on Norse Atlantic
Miami to Paris (CDG), France, on Air France, American, Norse Atlantic
Miami to Paris (Orly), France, on French Bee
Miami to Warsaw, Poland, on LOT

Minneapolis/St. Paul to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Delta
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Dublin, Ireland, on Aer Lingus and Delta (begins on May 9, 2024)
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa (begins June 2024) and Condor
Minneapolis/St. Paul to London (Heathrow), England, on Delta
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Paris (CDG), France, on Air France, Delta and Condor
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Reykjavik, Iceland, on Icelandair (seasonal)
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Shannon, Ireland, on Delta (seasonal)

Nashville to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways

Newark to Athens, Greece on Emirates and United (seasonal, March through October)
Newark to Barcelona, Spain, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS
Newark to Dubrovnik, Croatia, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Edinburgh, Scotland, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Faro, Portugal’s Algarve, on United (begins 2025)
Newark to Frankfurt, Germany, on United
Newark to Gothenberg, Sweden, on SAS (through mid-October)
Newark to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Newark to Lisbon, Portugal on United
Newark to London (Heathrow), England, on United
Newark to Malaga, Spain, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Naples, Italy, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Nice, France, on United
Newark to Oslo, Norway, on SAS
Newark to Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Paris (CDG), France, on Air France
Newark to Ponta Delgada, the Azores (Portugal), on United (seasonal)
Newark to Porto, Portugal, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Rome, Italy, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Shannon, Ireland, on United (seasonal)
Newark to Stockholm, Sweden, on SAS and United (seasonal)
Newark to Tenerife, the Canary Islands (Spain), on United (seasonal)
Newark to Warsaw, Poland, on LOT
Newark to Vienna, Austria, on Austrian

New York/JFK to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on JetBlue
New York/JFK to Athens, Greece on Delta, Norse Atlantic (seasonal), United, and American (seasonal, began March 2024)
New York/JFK to Barcelona, Spain, on Delta
New York/JFK to Berlin, Germany, on Delta and Norse Atlantic
New York/JFK to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS
New York/JFK to Dublin, Ireland, on JetBlue (seasonal, through September 30, 2024)
New York/JFK to Edinburgh, Scotland, on JetBlue (seasonal, May 22 to September 30, 2024)
New York/JFK to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
New York/JFK to London (Gatwick), England, on Delta, Norse Atlantic and British Airways
New York/JFK to London (Heathrow), England, on Delta, Norse Atlantic, British Airways and American
New York/JFK to Milan, Italy, on American, Delta, and Emirates
New York/JFK to Munich, Germany, on Delta (begins on April 9, 2024)
New York/JFK to Naples, Italy, on Delta (seasonal, begins on May 23, 2024)
New York/JFK to Palermo, Sicily (Italy), on Neos Air (seasonal, June through October)
New York/JFK to Paris (CDG), France, on Norse Atlantic, Delta, Air France, JetBlue and American
New York/JFK to Porto, Portugal, on Azores (begins on June 6, 2024)
New York/JFK to Ponta Delgada, the Azores (Portugal), on Azores
New York/JFK to Rome, Italy, on Norse Atlantic (seasonal)
New York/JFK to Shannon, Ireland, on Delta (seasonal, begins May 23, 2024)
New York/JFK to Stockholm, Sweden, on Delta

New York/JFK to Warsaw, Poland, on LOT

New York State/Stewart Airport to Faroe Islands (Denmark), on Atlantic (seasonal)

Orlando to Frankfurt, Germany, on Eurowings (winter)
Orlando to London (Gatwick), England, on Norse Atlantic and British Airways
Orlando to London (Heathrow), England, on Virgin Atlantic

Philadelphia to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on American
Philadelphia to Athens, Greece, on American (seasonal)
Philadelphia to Barcelona, Spain, on American
Philadelphia to Copenhagen, Denmark, on American (begins on June 6, 2024)
Philadelphia to Dublin, Ireland, on American (seasonal) and Aer Lingus
Philadelphia to Frankfurt, Germany, on Eurowings Discover
Philadelphia to Lisbon, Portugal, on American
Philadelphia to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways and American
Philadelphia to Madrid, Spain, on American
Philadelphia to Naples, Italy, on American (seasonal, begins on June 5, 2024)
Philadelphia to Nice, France, on American (seasonal, begins on May 6, 2024)
Philadelphia to Paris (CDG), France, on American
Philadelphia to Venice, Italy, on American (seasonal, began April 2024)
Philadelphia to Zurich, Switzerland, on American

Phoenix to Frankfurt, Germany, on American
Phoenix to London (Heathrow), England, on American and British Airways
Phoenix to Paris, France, on Air France (begins on May 23, 2024)

Pittsburgh to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways

Portland (OR) to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways

Raleigh Durham to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa (begins June 2024)
Raleigh Durham to London (Heathrow), England, on American
Raleigh Durham to Paris (CDG), France,  on Delta and Air France
Raleigh Durham to Reykjavik, Iceland, on Icelandair

St. Louis to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa

Salt Lake City to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Delta and KLM
Salt Lake City to Frankfurt, Germany, on Eurowings Discover
Salt Lake City to London (Heathrow), England, on Delta
Salt Lake City to Paris, France, on Delta

San Antonio to Frankfurt, Germany, on Condor (begins May 17, 2024)

San Francisco to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on KLM
San Francisco to Barcelona, Spain, on United (seasonal)
San Francisco to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS
San Francisco to Frankfurt, Germany, on Condor
San Francisco to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
San Francisco to London (Heathrow), England, on United
San Francisco to Paris (CDG), France, on United
San Francisco to Rome, Italy, on United (seasonal)
San Francisco to Zurich, Switzerland, on United

Seattle to Helsinki, Finland, on Finnair (seasonal)
Seattle to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish
Seattle to London (Heathrow), England, on British Airways
Seattle to Munich, Germany, on Lufthansa (begins June 2024)

St Louis to Frankfurt, Germany, on Lufthansa

Tampa to Frankfurt, Germany, on Eurowings Discover
Tampa to London (Gatwick), England,  on British Airways

Washington/Dulles to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on United (seasonal, began March)
Washington/Dulles to Athens, Greece, on United (seasonal, operates April 14-December 3)
Washington/Dulles to Barcelona, Spain, on United (seasonal, began February 2024)
Washington/Dulles to Berlin, Germany, on United (seasonal)
Washington/Dulles to Brussels, Belgium, on Lufthansa
Washington/Dulles to Copenhagen, Denmark, on SAS
Washington/Dulles to Dublin, Ireland, on Aer Lingus and United
Washington/Dulles to Frankfurt, Germany, on United and Lufthansa
Washington/Dulles to Geneva, Switzerland, on United
Washington/Dulles to Istanbul, Turkey, on Turkish Airlines
Washington/Dulles to Lisbon, Portugal, on United (seasonal, began February 2024)
Washington/Dulles to London (Heathrow), England, on United
Washington/Dulles to London (Gatwick), England, on Norse Atlantic
Washington/Dulles to Munich, Germany, on United and Lufthansa
Washington/Dulles to Paris, France, on Air France, United
Washington/Dulles to Reykjavik, Iceland, on Icelandair and PLAY
Washington/Dulles to Rome, Italy, on United (seasonal, began February 2024)
Washington/Dulles to Vienna, Austria, on Lufthansa
Washington/Dulles to Zurich, Switzerland on Swiss (began March 2024) and United

Canada

Atlanta to Calgary on WestJet
Atlanta to Montreal on Air Canada
Atlanta to Toronto on Delta, Air Canada
Atlanta to Vancouver on WestJet

Austin to Montreal on Air Canada (beginning May 2, 2024)
Austin to Toronto on Air Canada
Austin to Vancouver on Air Canada (seasonal)

Boston to Ottawa on Porter
Boston to Vancouver on Air Canada

Charleston to Toronto on Air Canada (began March 2024)

Charlotte to Montreal on American Eagle
Charlotte to Toronto on American and Air Canada – Jazz Express

Chicago to Calgary on United
Chicago to Montreal on United
Chicago to Ottawa on United
Chicago to Quebec on United (seasonal, begins May 2024)
Chicago to Toronto on United
Chicago Midway to Toronto on Porter
Chicago to Vancouver on United

Denver to Calgary on United and Air Canada
Denver to Montreal on Air Canada and United
Denver to Toronto on Air Canada and United

Detroit to Montreal on Air Canada
Detroit to Calgary on WestJet

Fort Lauderdale to Ottawa on Porter
Fort Lauderdale to Toronto on Porter

Houston to Calgary on United and WestJet
Houston to Montreal on Air Canada
Houston to Toronto on Air Canada and United
Houston to Vancouver on Air Canada and United

Las Vegas to Montreal on Air Canada
Las Vegas to Toronto on Air Canada
Las Vegas to Vancouver on Air Canada

Los Angeles to Montreal on Porter (seasonal)

Minneapolis/St. Paul to Calgary on Delta

Maui to Vancouver on Air Canada

Minneapolis/St. Paul to Montreal on Air Canada
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Toronto on Air Canada and Delta
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Vancouver on Delta

Nashville to Calgary on WestJet
Nashville to Toronto on Air Canada and WestJet
Nashville to Vancouver on WestJet

New York/JFK to Montreal on Delta, American and Air Canada
New York/JFK to Toronto on Air Canada, American and Delta
New York/JFK to Vancouver on JetBlue

Newark to Halifax on United (seasonal, begins May 23, 2024)
Newark to Montreal on United
Newark to Toronto on United

Orlando to Ottawa on Porter
Orlando to Toronto on Porter

Phoenix to Calgary on Delta
Phoenix to Toronto on Air Canada
Phoenix to Vancouver on Air Canada

Raleigh Durham to Montreal on Air Canada
Raleigh Durham to Toronto on Air Canada

           St Louis to Montreal on Air Canada (seasonal, begins May 1, 2024)

Salt Lake City to Calgary on Delta
Salt Lake City to Toronto on Air Canada
Salt Lake City to Vancouver on Delta

San Diego to Montreal on Air Canada

San Francisco to Calgary on United
San Francisco to Montreal on Porter (seasonal)
San Francisco to Toronto on United
San Francisco to Vancouver on United

Seattle to Montreal on Air Canada
Seattle to Toronto on Alaska (begins May 16, 2024)

Washington/Dulles to Vancouver on United (seasonal, begins May 23, 2024)

Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands

Dallas/Fort Worth to Brisbane, Australia, on American (begins October 27, 2024)

Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand, on Air New Zealand
Honolulu to Rarotonga, Cook Islands, on Hawaiian

Houston to Auckland, New Zealand, on Air New Zealand

Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand, on Air New Zealand, Delta and United
Los Angeles to Brisbane, Australia, on United and Delta (Dec. 4, 2024 through March 28, 2025)
Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, on United
Los Angeles to Papeete (Tahiti), French Polynesia, on Delta, Air Tahiti Nui, and Air France
Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, on American and Delta

New York/JFK to Auckland, New Zealand, on Air New Zealand and Qantas

San Francisco to Auckland, New Zealand, on Air New Zealand and United
San Francisco to Brisbane, Australia, on United
San Francisco to Christchurch, New Zealand, on United
San Francisco to Melbourne, Australia, on United
San Francisco to Papeete (Tahiti), French Polynesia, on United and French Bee
San Francisco to Sydney, Australia, on United

Seattle to Papeete (Tahiti), French Polynesia, on Air Tahiti Nui

Middle East and Africa

UPDATE on April 16, 2024: United—the only U.S. airline to resume its service to Israel since October—has paused those flights. El Al continues to operate between the U.S. and Israel.

Atlanta to Cape Town, South Africa, on Delta
Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa, on Delta
Atlanta to Tel Aviv, Israel, on Delta (suspended) and El Al

Boston to Tel Aviv, Israel, on Delta (suspended) and El Al

Chicago to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Etihad
Chicago to Amman, Jordan, on Royal Jordanian
Chicago to Doha, Qatar, on Qatar Airways
Chicago to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Emirates
Chicago to Tel Aviv, Israel, on United (resumes October 2024) and El Al

Dallas/Fort Worth to Doha, Qata, on Qatar
Dallas/Fort Worth to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Emirates
Dallas/Fort Worth to Tel Aviv, Israel on American (resumes October 2024)

Detroit to Amman, Jordan, on Royal Jordanian

Ft. Lauderdale to Tel Aviv, Israel, on El Al

Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, Israel, on El Al

Miami to Doha, Qatar, on Qatar
Miami to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Emirates

Newark to Cape Town, South Africa, on United
Newark to Cairo, Egypt, on Egyptair
Newark to Dubai, United Arab Emirates,  on United
Newark to Johannesburg, South Africa, on United
Newark to Marrakech, Morocco, on United (begins October 24, 2024)
Newark to Tel Aviv, Israel, on El Al and United (resumed March 2024)

New York/JFK to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Etihad
New York/JFK to Amman, Jordan, on Royal Jordanian
New York/JFK to Casablanca, Marrakech, on Royal Air Maroc
New York/JFK to Doha, Qatar, on American
New York/JFK to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Emirates
New York/JFK to Nairobi, Kenya, on Kenya Airways
New York/JFK to Tel Aviv, Israel, on American (resumes October 27, 2024), Delta (resumes June 7, 2024), and El Al

Miami to Tel Aviv, Israel, on El Al

Philadelphia to Doha, Qatar, on American

San Francisco to Tel Aviv, Israel, on United (resumes October 2024)

Seattle to Doha, Qatar, on Qatar Airways

Washington/Dulles to Amman, Jordan, on United
Washington/Dulles to Casablanca, Morocco, on Royal Air Maroc
Washington/Dulles to Doha, Qatar, on Qatar Airways
Washington/Dulles to Tel Aviv, Israel, on United (resumes October 2024)

Latin America and the Caribbean

Atlanta to Cancun, Mexico, on JetBlue and Southwest
Atlanta to Cozumel, Mexico, on Delta
Atlanta to Curacao, the Caribbean on Delta
Atlanta to Lima, Peru on Latam and Delta
Atlanta to Merida, Mexico, on Aeromexico
Atlanta to Mexico City on Delta and Aeromexico
Atlanta to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Delta
Atlanta to Tulum, Mexico, on Delta

Austin to Cancun, Mexico, on American
Austin to Cozumel, Mexico, on American and Southwest
Austin to Liberia, Costa Rica, on American
Austin to Mexico City on Aeromexico
Austin to Panama City on Copa
Austin to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on American and Southwest
Austin to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on American and Southwest

Baltimore to Cancun, Mexico, on Frontier
Baltimore to Panama City on Copa (seasonal)

Boston to Mexico City on Aeromexico

Charlotte to Belize City on American
Charlotte to Cancun, Mexico, on American
Charlotte to Cozumel, Mexico, on American
Charlotte to Curacao, the Caribbean, on American
Charlotte to San Jose, Costa Rica, on American
Charlotte to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on American
Charlotte to Tulum, Mexico, on American

Chicago O’Hare to Cancun, Mexico, on United
Chicago O’Hare to Guatemala City on Avianca
Chicago O’Hare to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on United
Chicago O’Hare to Mexico City on Aeromexico
Chicago O’Hare to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on United
Chicago O’Hare to Tulum, Mexico, on United

Cincinnati to Cancun, Mexico, on American

Dallas/Ft. Worth to Buenos Aires, Argentina, on American
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Cancun, Mexico, on American
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Cozumel, Mexico, (seasonal)
Dallas/Ft. Worth to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on American
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Mexico City (NLU) on Aeromexico
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on American
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Santiago, Chile, on American
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Tulum, Mexico, on American
Dallas/Ft. Worth to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, on American

Denver to Belize City on United
Denver to Cancun, Mexico, on United and Southwest
Denver to Cozumel, Mexico, on United and Southwest
Denver to Liberia, Costa Rica, on United
Denver to Panama City on United and Southwest
Denver to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on United and Southwest
Denver to Roatan, Honduras, on United
Denver to San Jose, Costa Rica, on United
Denver to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on United and Southwest

Detroit to Mexico City on Aeromexico

Fort Lauderdale to Belém, Brazil’s Amazon, on Azul
Fort Lauderdale to Bucaramanga, Colombia, on Spirit
Fort Lauderdale to Manaus, Brazil’s Amazon, on Azul

Houston to Cancun, Mexico, on United
Houston to Medellin, Colombia, on United (begins October 27, 2024)
Houston to Mexico City on Aeromexico
Houston to Oaxaca, Mexico, on United
Houston to Panama City on United
Houston to Puebla, Mexico, on United
Houston to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on United
Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica, on United
Houston to Tulum, Mexico, on United

Kansas City to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on Southwest (seasonal)

Las Vegas to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on Alaska
Las Vegas to Mexico City on Aeromexico
Las Vegas to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Alaska

Los Angeles to Belize City on Alaska
Los Angeles to Grand Cayman, the Caribbean, on Cayman Airways
Los Angeles to Guatemala City on Alaska, United
Los Angeles to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on United
Los Angeles to Mexico City on Aeromexico
Los Angeles to Nassau, Bahamas, on Alaska and JetBlue
Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on United
Los Angeles to San Jose, Costa Rica, on United
Los Angeles to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on United
Los Angeles to Sao Paolo, Brazil, on Latam
Los Angeles to Tulum, Mexico, on United

Miami to Barranquilla, Colombia, on American
Miami to Bogota, Colombia, on Avianca, American, Latam, Emirates (starts June 3)
Miami to Buenos Aires (EZE), Argentina, on Aerolineas Argentinas and American
Miami to Cali, Colombia, on American
Miami to Cancun, Mexico, on American
Miami to Cartagena, Colombia, on Avianca
Miami to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Latam
Miami to Guatemala City on Avianca
Miami to Havana, Cuba, on Delta
Miami to Liberia, Costa Rica, on American
Miami to Lima, Peru, on American and Latam
Miami to Medellin, Colombia, on Avianca
Miami to Mexico City on American and Aeromexico
Miami to Panama City on American
Miami to Quito, Ecuador, on Avianca
Miami to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on American
Miami to San Jose, Costa Rica, on American
Miami to Santiago, Chile, on American
Miami to Tulum, Mexico, on American

Minneapolis/St Paul to Cancun, Mexico, on Delta
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Cozumel, Mexico, on Delta
Minneapolis/St. Paul to Mexico City on Delta

Nashville to Cancun, Mexico, on American and Southwest

New York/JFK to Belize City on JetBlue
New York/JFK to Buenos Aires (EZE), Argentina, on Delta and Aerolineas Argentinas
New York/JFK to Cali, Colombia, on American
New York/JFK to Cartagena, Colombia, on Avianca
New York/JFK to Mexico City on Aeromexico, Delta, and American
New York/JFK to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on JetBlue
New York/JFK to Quito, Ecuador, on Avianca
New York/JFK to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Delta
New York/JFK to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on Avianca
New York/JFK to Tulum, Mexico, on JetBlue (beginning June 13, 2024)

Newark to Cartagena, Colombia, on JetBlue
Newark to Guatemala City on United
Newark to Panama City on United, Copa
Newark to San Jose, Costa Rica, on United
Newark to Tulum, Mexico, on United

Orlando to Belize City on Frontier
Orlando to Cali, Colombia, on Avianca
Orlando to Liberia, Costa Rica, on Frontier
Orlando to Medellín, Colombia, on Avianca
Orlando to Quito, Ecuador, on Avianca
Orlando to Recife, Brazil, on Azul
Orlando to Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Latam

Phoenix to Cancun, Mexico, on American and Southwest
Phoenix to Mexico City on American
Phoenix to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on American and Southwest
Phoenix to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, on American and Southwest

Pittsburgh to Cancun, Mexico, on American

Raleigh Durham to Cancun, Mexico, on Jet Blue
Raleigh Durham to Mexico City on Aeromexico
Raleigh Durham to Panama City on Copa (begins June 21, 2024)

Salt Lake City to Mexico City on Aeromexico

San Antonio to Mexico City on Aeromexico

San Francisco to Cancun, Mexico, on Alaska
San Francisco to Liberia, Costa Rica, on United
San Francisco to Mexico City on Aeromexico

Seattle to Belize City on Alaska
Seattle to Cancun, Mexico, on Alaska
Seattle to Nassau, Bahamas, on Alaska

Washington/Dulles to Mexico City on Aeromexico and United

Asia

Atlanta to Seoul, South Korea, on Delta
Atlanta to Tokyo (HND), Japan,  on Delta

Boston to Seoul, South Korea, on Korean Air
Boston to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on American, Japan Airlines

Chicago to Delhi, India, on United and Air India
Chicago O’Hare to Tokyo (HND), Japan on Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, United Airlines
Chicago O’Hare to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on All Nippon Airways

Dallas/Ft. Worth to Seoul, South Korea, on American
Dallas/Fort Worth to Shanghai, China on American
Dallas/Fort Worth to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on American

Detroit to Seoul, South Korea, on Delta
Detroit to Shanghai, China, on China Eastern and Delta
Detroit to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on Delta

Denver to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on United

Honolulu to Fukuoka, Japan’s Kyushu Island, on Hawaiian
Honolulu to Manila, the Philippines, on Philippine Airlines
Honolulu to Osaka, Japan, on Hawaiian and Japan Airlines
Honolulu to Nagoya, Japan, on Japan Airlines
Honolulu to Taipei, Taiwan, on Air China (begins June 2024)
Honolulu to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on Delta and Hawaiian
Honolulu to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on Hawaiian

Las Vegas to Seoul, South Korea, on Korean Airlines

Los Angeles to Beijing, China, on Air China
Los Angeles to Hong Kong on American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and United
Los Angeles to Manila, the Philippines, on Philippine Airlines
Los Angeles to Osaka, Japan, on Japan Airlines
Los Angeles to Seoul, South Korea, on Asiana and Korean Air
Los Angeles to Shanghai, China, on Delta (began March 2024) and United (begins August 29, 2024)
Los Angeles to Singapore on Singapore Air
Los Angeles to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on United
Los Angeles to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on American Airlines, United, and ZIPAIR

Minneapolis to Seoul, South Korea, on Delta
Minneapolis to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on Delta

Newark to Delhi, India, on Air India
Newark to Mumbai, India, on United and Air India
Newark to Singapore on Singapore Airlines
Newark to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on United
Newark to Tokyo (NRT), Japan on United

New York (JFK) to Beijing, China, on Air China
New York/JFK to Delhi, India, on American Airlines and Air India
New York/JFK to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific
New York/JFK to Mumbai, India, on Air India
New York/JFK to New Delhi, India, on Air India, American
New York/JFK to Manila, the Philippines, on Philippine Airlines
New York/JFK to Seoul, South Korea, on Asiana, Korean
New York/JFK to Singapore on Singapore Air
New York/JFK to Taipei, Taiwan, on Eva Air, Air China
New York/JFK to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Uzbekistan Airways
New York/JFK to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on Japan Airlines, ANA, and American (begins June 28, 2024)

San Diego to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on Japan Airlines

San Jose to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on ZIPAIR

San Francisco to Beijing, China, on Air China
San Francisco to Delhi, India, on United and Air India
San Francisco to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Vietnam Airlines
San Francisco to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and United
San Francisco to Manila, the Philippines, on Philippine Airlines and United
San Francisco to Mumbai, India, on Air India
San Francisco to Osaka, Japan, on United
San Francisco to Seoul, South Korea, on Asiana, Korean Airlines, and United
San Francisco to Shanghai, China, on United
San Francisco to Singapore on United and Singapore Airlines
San Francisco to Taipei, Taiwan, on China Airlines, EVA Air and United
San Francisco to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on ANA, Japan Airlines, and United
San Francisco to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on ANA, Japan Airlines, United and ZIPAIR

Seattle to Beijing (PKX), China, on Delta (seasonal) and Hainan Airlines
Seattle to Manila, the Philippines, on Philippine Airlines (begins October 2, 2024)
Seattle to Seoul, South Korea, on Delta
Seattle to Tokyo (NRT), Japan, on ANA, Japan Airlines, Delta, United and American
Seattle to Shanghai, China, on Delta
Seattle to Singapore on Singapore Arlines
Seattle to Taipei, Taiwan, on Delta (begins June 6, 2024) and China Airlines (begins July 2024)

Washington/Dulles to Delhi, India, on Air India
Washington/Dulles to Incheon, South Korea, on Korean Air
Washington/Dulles to Tokyo (HND), Japan, on United and ANA

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view of zurich airport runway from plane window

Smartest Airports for Making Connections

It seems like every day this summer, there’s been news of massive flight cancellations. And if it’s not cancellations, it’s lost luggage, long security lines, or extreme delays. It’s enough to make any traveler wish they had a private jet at their disposal (which is actually more affordable than you’d think). However, that said, most of us are going to fly commercial and we just want the easiest, most stress-free flying experience possible. Our top recommendation is to fly nonstop whenever possible (and there are great nonstop routes coming back online all the time), but we know that’s not always an option. So when you do have to make a connection, here are the airports that will make it as hassle-free as possible. (And, if you’re flying in business class, they have great lounges.)

Thanks to our go-to air-travel gurus for their input and first-hand experience recommending the best airports for connections: Brett Snyder of Cranky Concierge, and Gary Leff of View From the Wing. (Hear more from both of them in our Q&A travel talk on the best flights, fares, miles and seats.)

European airports

  • Zurich, Switzerland: Wendy chose this airport for her layover en route to Romania, and it was a breeze.
  • Munich, Germany: Wendy chose this hub for her flight back, and while the distances can be long, getting through is easy and efficient. Gary suggests this hub instead of Frankfurt airport, which can be confusing to navigate. However, he adds that while Frankfurt isn’t the most user-friendly airport, the upside is that it (and other similarly large but unpleasant hubs like Paris’s Charles de Gaulle) probably offer more flight options if something goes wrong. “While I often find smaller airports friendlier for transit,” he explains, “what I like more than a small airport with an easy layout is a place that has a lot of flights to your destination [like Amsterdam]. You can fly LOT Polish through Warsaw to a number of places, but if your flight is delayed, there may not be as many ‘backup flights’ to get on as traveling through the larger hubs.”
  •  Amsterdam, the Netherlands: The headlines this summer might make you think Schiphol is not a great option, but don’t be misled, says Brett:  “That’s really been for local passengers who go through security checkpoints, not connectors.”
  • Vienna, Austria

Asian airports

Pool at Doha Airport

Qatar’s Doha International Airport has a pool, a spa, and other amenities. Photo: Billie Cohen

It’s important to make sure you meet the entry requirements of any country you transit through in Asia. Some countries in Asia still have strict pandemic restrictions, so make sure you can actually get into whatever country you’re connecting through, in case you miss your connection and there’s not another flight that day. “Before the pandemic,” says Gary, “I’d have said that Hong Kong is a great airport. Now, there are fewer flights and I wouldn’t want to get stuck there.” With that in mind, he and Brett recommend:

  • Changi, Singapore: “There’s a reason Singapore is considered the best airport in the world by many.  It’s a marvel for everything it offers,” says Gary.
  • Incheon, South Korea
  • Dubai, U.A.E.
  • Doha, Qatar

South American airports

Brett feels that there aren’t any great airports for connections in South America.  Instead, his recommendation is that if you can connect in the US, that’s your best bet.

US airports

Even if your destination is international, it can be smart to make a connection within the US rather than overseas. As an example, Gary explains: “I live in Austin…so choosing between Detroit and Frankfurt is relevant if I’m going to, say, Paris.” Brett offers these recommendations:

  • Charlotte: “It’s a big airport, so you don’t necessarily want the really short connecting times.  But it avoids much of the airspace crunch that hits the northeast, so delays are less of an issue. Even better, if you are delayed, they have rocking chairs available for you to pass the time.”
  • Detroit: “The big Delta hub makes it easy to get to and from smaller airports in the northeast. It’s a big operation, but it’s not hard to get around. Besides, it has a train running back and forth in the terminal, and that’s just fun. It can be a useful jumping-off point for Europe and Asia alike, so it’s a good way to avoid the coasts.”
  • Seattle: “Seattle is a big and growing airport, just opening its new customs and immigration facility. If you’re heading to Asia, it’s easily the best pick of the three West Coast gateways. The constant threat of fog delays in San Francisco, along with the maze of terminal hopping that may be required at LAX, makes Seattle an easier experience. As an added bonus, it is closer to the great circle path to Asia from most US cities, so it can mean a shorter connection time.”
  • Salt Lake City and Phoenix: “People don’t think of Salt Lake and Phoenix as global hubs, and they’d be right. But Delta and its partners fly from Salt Lake to Europe, as do American and its partners from Phoenix, so for those in the western US, this is an easy way to get to Europe. The airports are easy to navigate and rarely have weather delay issues.”

Airports close to your final destination

If your connection is at an airport really close to your final destination, you give yourself more options if that flight is delayed. As Gary found out recently when helping out a cousin with a trip from Porto to Brussels. “I booked an award flight on Air France that included a train segment [from Paris] to Brussels.  And if he missed the last train of the night, well, it’s just not that hard to get from Paris to Brussels where he absolutely needed to be.”

 

 

Travel. Trip. Vacation - Top view airplane with touristic map

New Nonstop Flights To Make Your Travels Easier in 2022

My, how things can change in just a short couple of years. In 2019, there was so much promise for a host of new and exciting airline routes, but, well, we all know what happened. Very few, if any of those new flights, actually started while the pandemic raged.

Now there is hope on the horizon again. Many airlines are planning to launch those long-awaited routes next year and relaunch a few older nonstops that had been temporarily shelved, What’s more, some airlines have already announced exciting new trips that weren’t even on their minds before the pandemic.

To help you find your own excitement and inspiration, let’s take a look at the new airline routes that have either just started or are slated to start in 2022.

Europe

Austin to Amsterdam, on KLM
Austin to London/Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic

Baltimore to Reykjavik on PLAY

Boston to Athens, on Delta
Boston to Barcelona, on LEVEL
Boston to London/Heathrow, on United
Boston to Reykjavik on PLAY

Chicago/O’Hare to London/Heathrow, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Milan/Malpensa, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Reykjavik, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Rome, on United
Chicago/O’Hare to Zurich, on United

Dallas/Fort Worth to Helsinki on Finnair
Dallas/Fort Worth to Istanbul, on Turkish
Dallas/Fort Worth to Madrid, on Iberia

Denver to Paris/CDG, on Air France
Denver to Munich, on United

Detroit to Istanbul, on Turkish, will begin but no details are available

Fort Myers to Frankfurt, on Eurowings

Las Vegas to Munich, on Eurowings Discover

Los Angeles to Dublin, on Aer Lingus
Los Angeles to Frankfurt, on Condor
Los Angeles to London/Heathrow, on United
Los Angeles to Paris/Orly on Frenchbee

Newark to Athens, on United
Newark to Barcelona, on United
Newark to Bergen (Norway), on United
Newark to Dubrovnik, on United
Newark to Frankfurt, on United
Newark to London/Heathrow, on United
Newark to Nice, on United
Newark to Palma de Mallorca, on United
Newark to Paris, on Air France starting Dec 12, 2023
Newark to Ponta Delgada (Azores), on United
Newark to Rome, on United
Newark to Tenerife (Canary Islands), on United

New York/JFK to Paris, on Air France
New York/JFK to Stockholm on Delta 

Orlando to Edinburgh, on Virgin Atlantic

Portland (OR) to London/Heathrow on British Airways

Raleigh/Durham to Reykjavik on Icelandair

Salt Lake City to Frankfurt, on Eurowings

San Francisco to Frankfurt, on Condor
San Francisco to London/Heathrow, on United

Seattle to Helsinki on Finnair
Seattle to Istanbul, on Turkish

St Louis to Frankfurt on Lufthansa

Washington/Dulles to Amsterdam, on United
Washington/Dulles to Athens, on United
Washington/Dulles to Berlin, on United
Washington/Dulles to London/Heathrow, on United
Washington/Dulles to Madrid, on Iberia
Washington/Dulles to Reykjavik, on United

 

One last thing worth noting over the Atlantic: European leisure operator TUI will move its Florida gateway to… Melbourne, a small and easy airport located a little over an hour southeast of Orlando.

Melbourne, FL, to Birmingham, Doncaster/Sheffield, London/Gatwick, and Manchester

Melbourne, FL, to Bristol, Glasgow, and Newcastle in May with Edinburgh

Canada

Atlanta to Montreal, on Air Canada

Austin to Vancouver, on Air Canada

Boston to Calgary, on WestJet

Chicago/O’Hare to Toronto on Flair

Detroit to Montreal, on Air Canada

Las Vegas to Ottawa, on Flair
Las Vegas to Victoria (BC), on Swoop

Los Angeles to Montreal, on Air Transat

Nashville to Edmonton, on Flair

New York/JFK to Toronto on Flair

Salt Lake City to Toronto on Air Canada

San Diego to Montreal, on Air Canada

San Francisco to Montreal, on Air Transat

Seattle to Montreal, on Air Canada

Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands

Honolulu to Auckland, on Air New Zealand

Houston to Auckland, on Air New Zealand

Los Angeles to Auckland, on Air New Zealand
Los Angeles to Papeete (French Polynesia) on Delta, Air Tahiti Nui and Air France

New York/JFK to Auckland, on Air New Zealand, starts Sept 17, 2022

San Francisco to Auckland, on Air New Zealand
San Francisco to Papeete (French Polynesia) on United and French Bee

Middle East and Africa

Atlanta to Cape Town, on Delta, starting Dec 17, 2022
Atlanta to Tel Aviv, on Delta, starting May 10, 2023

Boston to Tel Aviv, on Delta
Boston to Tel Aviv, on El Al

Chicago to Tel Aviv, United and El Al

Dallas/Fort Worth to Tel Aviv, on American

Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, on El Al

Miami to Dubai, on Emirates

Newark to Cape Town, on United (year-round)
Newark to Johannesburg, on United
Newark to Tel Aviv, on El Al and United

New York/JFK to Doha on American
New York/JFK to Tel Aviv, on El Al, American and Delta

Miami to Tel Aviv, on El Al and American

San Francisco to Tel Aviv, on United

Washington/Dulles to Amman, on United
Washington/Dulles to Lagos, on United
Washington/Dulles to Tel Aviv, on United

Central and South America

Austin to Cozumel on American
Austin to Liberia (Costa Rica), on American

Denver to Roatan (Honduras), on United
Denver to San Jose (Costa Rica), on United

Fort Lauderdale to Barranquilla (Colombia), on Spirit
Fort Lauderdale to Bucaramanga (Colombia), on Spirit

Los Angeles to San Pedro Sula (Honduras), on United

Minneapolis/St Paul to Roatan (Honduras), on Sun Country

New York/JFK to Belo Horizonte (Brazil), on Eastern
New York/JFK to Cali (Colombia), on American
New York/JFK to Cartagena on Avianca
New York/JFK to Puerto Vallarta, on JetBlue

Newark to Cartagena, on JetBlue

New Orleans to San Pedro Sula (Honduras), on Spirit

Ontario to San Salvador, on Avianca

Orlando to Belize, on Frontier
Orlando to Cali (Colombia), on Avianca
Orlando to Liberia (Costa Rica), on Frontier
Orlando to Medellín on Avianca

San Francisco to Liberia (Costa Rica), on United

Seattle to Belize, on Alaska

Asia

New nonstop flights to Asia are slowly being added. In addition to several nonstops that have resumed.

 

Chicago to Delhi on United and Air India

Los Angeles  to Singapore, on Singapore Air
Los Angeles to Tokyo/Haneda, on United, expected by October 29, 2022
Los Angeles to Tokyo/Narita on Zip Air

Newark to Delhi on Air India
Newark to Mumbai on United and Air India
Newark to Tokyo/Haneda, on United, expected by October 29, 2022

New York/JFK to Delhi on American Airlines and Air India
New York/JFK to Mumbai on Air India
New York/JFK to Singapore on Singapore Air

Portland (OR) to Tokyo/Haneda, on Delta
Portland (OR) to Seoul/Incheon, on Delta

San Francisco to Bangalore, on United, starts October 28, 2022
San Francisco to Delhi on United and Air India
San Francisco to Singapore, on United

San Francisco to Singapore, on Singapore Air

Washington/Dulles to Tokyo/Haneda, on United, October 29, 2022

Washington DC to Delhi on Air India

Vancouver to Bangkok, on Air Canada, December 1, 2022

 

Brett Snyder is President at Cranky Concierge, a service that Wendy recommends to WOW List travelers seeking the savviest help with international airline travel. Brett’s service ferrets out the smartest routes and fares, monitors your flights, and provides emergency rerouting assistance if your flight is delayed or cancelled.


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Air Travel in 2022: Best Flights, Fares, Miles, and Seats

Is there any affordable airfare anywhere in the world this year? And, if so, where? Air travel watchdogs Brett Snyder, founder of Cranky Concierge, and Gary Leff, founder of View From the Wing and Book Your Award, reveal what you can expect from airlines and airfares in 2022: when to buy your tickets, how to choose the safest flights, where to find business-class bargains, how to get the most value for your miles, and much more.

 

Read more

New Nonstop Flights To Make Your Travels Easier in 2022

When Is the Best Time to Buy Airfare This Year?

When and Where to Use Your Airline Miles This Year

Best International Stopovers: Two Trips for the Price of One

The Best Credit Cards for Travelers

Private Jets: The Safest Option, and More Affordable Than You Might Think

Getting a Covid Test Abroad is Easy

5 Testing Tips for an Easy Return Flight to the U.S.

How to Get a Quick Covid Test for Travel

Traveler Reviews of Pandemic Trips Arranged by WOW List trip-planning experts

 

 

Shadow of an airliner over a blue water and a white-sand beach.

When Is the Best Time to Buy Airfare This Year?

Given the rise in fuel prices that’s happening now, given the surge in people who want to travel this summer, and given the no-fly zone over Russia, when should travelers buy their airline tickets for flights this year? We spoke to two air travel experts to get their insights.

If you’re traveling this summer

“For summer, buy now,” says Brett Snyder, founder of Cranky Concierge, a service that not only helps people find and book the best flight options, but also monitors those flights for schedule changes. “Things are starting to get tight, and it might already be too late for the best availability.”

Savanthi Syth, Global Airlines Analyst for Raymond James Financial, agrees. “If there is no change fee, I think travelers should book tickets now. Fares are likely to remain high for the summer due to strong demand, constrained supply (as airlines make sure they have enough crew to avoid operational issues experienced last year), and fuel likely to remain elevated at least in the near term and possibly longer.”

Snyder is seeing that too. “You are starting to see higher fares, especially in premium cabins,” he says. “The lowest fares are long gone—especially to Europe.”

If you’re traveling this fall or winter

“For the fall and beyond, I would hold off, especially for airlines that have change fees,” Syth says. “If you plan on traveling around Thanksgiving or Christmas, I would recommend booking if you see a good fare, but can probably be patient otherwise. That said, I would not recommend waiting on booking those flights too close in, as demand around peak leisure travel periods has been resilient throughout the pandemic, once travel restrictions were lifted.”

And as Snyder explains, airfare pricing is tied to demand. “Loosely, 100 days before travel is when airlines start to play close attention to demand and set pricing to match.” That means that if you buy a ticket, say, a year in advance, that fare is just a rack rate—and most likely high. “There may be exceptions like on Christmas or Thanksgiving. But for normal travel periods, they just put in high fares.”

So when is the right time? “The answer is always ‘whenever you’re ready’,” says Snyder. “If travelers want the comfort of having it locked in, great for them. Others want to wait to see if it comes down. We just always tell people, if you see a ticket at a price you think is fair, get it. You’re going to spend so much time and energy trying to game the system and get the best deal that it’s often not going to be worth it.”

Not everything is changing, though. “You will continue to see fare sales at certain points, as you have seen in the past (like the end of summer), and I would take advantage of those if you can,” Syth says. “Some airlines are trying to encourage the use of points, so I would recommend checking what it would cost based on dollars or points before booking.”

The benchmarks or flags that travelers should look for

Contrary to what you might think, the red flag is not the increase in fuel prices. It’s the decrease in airlines’ capacity. “Fares don’t move just because gas gets pricey,” Snyder explains. “What changes is the number of seats the airlines put out there. They’ll look at their plan and say, ‘This made sense back when fuel was cheap, but now we need higher fares. We can’t just raise fares, so we’re going to cut back on flights and reduce the number of seats we’re putting out on the market because more people are fighting for fewer seats.’ So if you see them cutting capacity, you can expect higher fares.”

Where will you see it? Right in the news. Alaska and JetBlue both made mainstream headlines when they recently trimmed their flights and routes (and Cranky Concierge’s newsletter also covers those updates).

Will economy fares and premium fares be affected differently?

Syth thinks they are both likely to go up. “However, if there is a strong recovery in business demand, premium fares might go up faster this year,” she says. She notes that during the pandemic some travelers were willing to pay more for that better experience. “So far that seems to be holding, but I am not sure how long that lasts.”

Snyder also wonders about this. “They can raise the price, but if people won’t pay it, it doesn’t matter. Now people are paying more for their gas in cars and more for other goods, so they have less to pay for airfare.”

How international fares are likely to be affected

As both Syth and Snyder point out, fare trends depend on the destination, as well as factors such as how many flights go there, how big those planes are, how many travelers want to travel to go there, and global politics.

“I suspect Latin America will see cheaper fare offerings in the near- to medium-term than the Transatlantic, particularly to South America (although possibly not on U.S. airlines),” says Syth. “Asia will be a bit more mixed. Demand is low, so you would expect good fares, but capacity has also been pared back significantly. Also the Russia-Ukraine conflict has made it difficult for U.S. airlines to serve some South Asian destinations. Here too, it will vary by country.“

That said, both experts say Europe is going to be expensive because everyone wants to travel there. “You have two things going on: You have general demand of everyone wanting to travel, and you also have Asia off limits, so everyone is focusing on Europe,” Snyder says.

 

Smarter Airline Travel in 2021: Best flights, seats, and fares

 

In one of our travel talks for WOW Week 2021, air travel watchdogs Brett Snyder, founder of Cranky Concierge, and Gary Leff , founder of View From the Wing and Book Your Award, revealed what you can expect from airlines and airfares this year, when to buy your tickets, how to choose the safest flights, where to find business-class bargains, how to get the most value for your miles, and much more.

Our conversation included:

• Airfare pricing trends
• Domestic airfare vs. international airfare
• Business-class deals
• How frequent-flier programs have changed
• Airlines’ change fees and refund policies
• Health and safety while flying
• Airfare predictions for holiday travel in 2021
• Buying tickets through an online service vs. the airline or a travel agent

Here are excerpts from our talk; answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Airfare price predictions

Brett Snyder: It’s been an interesting roller coaster over the last year, to say the least. What we’re seeing with airfare now is that, as demand is starting to get a lot stronger domestically, a lot of those deals that we saw just a few months ago aren’t there anymore. There are still deals to be had, of course, depending on when you’re flying, but for the most part, fares are rising domestically.  Internationally, it’s a bit more of a crapshoot. I would say that, to some places that we know Americans can visit this year, it’s unlikely you’re going to find these amazing deals right now, and the airlines know that—they know where you can go.  But what we have seen a lot of is refundable fares that are much lower than they used to be in a lot of places. And that is really a nice option for people. The difference between non-refundable and refundable used to be so ridiculous that it just wasn’t worth considering. But that’s something that’s changed a lot. So, on the whole, if you see a hot destination where people are going, the chances are less that you’re going to get a better deal than if you’re going to somewhere else.

Gary Leff:  The general principle is the same that it’s always been: Where the price of airfare is driven by supply and demand, and where there are a lot of people wanting to travel somewhere, it’s going to cost more to get there. Back in March, I was able to buy $31 tickets from Austin, where I live, to Miami.  I’m not able to do anything like that anymore.  Airlines are going to scale back up their capacity—they’re beginning to do that over the next few weeks.  If the return of travel continues, as it seems highly likely to, we’re going to see airfares rise as well.

To Brett’s point about refundable tickets being cheaper:  There are deals on business-class tickets, but it varies by destination.  One of the things that’s changed is who’s traveling: The people who used to buy refundable tickets aren’t the ones who are traveling now or they’re not the ones buying the tickets for work. The people who were buying long-haul business class don’t have employers paying for it for business travel. And so there’s a compression as well to some extent. About a week ago, there were $900 roundtrips on TAP Air Portugal business class between the US and Europe. Now, that was a deal worth jumping on. It was before we saw some of the latest news about Europe’s opening.  United shared during their earnings call that, as soon as the word came out that Americans could visit Greece, the number of searches on their website skyrocketed, and the number of ticket purchases on their Athens flights skyrocketed. So, if you’re going where everyone else is going and searching where everyone else is searching, then it’s going to be more expensive, but not necessarily more expensive than it was before the pandemic. So we sort of need to attenuate our expectations. It’s not the $13 cross-country fares that we saw a year ago. But it is not outsized expense, relative to the past.

Bargain-hunting for international flights

Brett: It all goes back to supply and demand again, for the most part, but sometimes foreign airlines have mandates and just decide to do things that are less market-based than you’ll find from U.S. airlines. If China ever opens again, I would expect there would be a flood of low fares on the Chinese carriers. … Europe is a little bit tougher.

Gary: If you’re buying tickets now, you’re making a bet on the future. And certainly things have not always played out the way they’ve been expected to play out over the last year. And in COVID, we think we know what direction things are going,…but you’re making a bet on reopening and staying open. So it is certainly the case that you would be more inclined to have tickets on a carrier with some flexibility, and that you trust is going to, you know, be there. … I think there are going to be deals, and to Brett’s point, I think some of those deals will be on foreign carriers as they restart service, or as they attempt to gain traffic for the flights that they’re operating.

Frequent-flier programs in the Covid-travel era

Gary:  In some ways, they haven’t changed very much, although a couple of things that are worth highlighting: American Advantage, I really have to applaud something that they did, which is to eliminate cancellation and redeposit-of-miles fees. United is more flexible than they were, and if you cancel more than a month out, they’re not going to charge you a fee to put your miles back. American won’t charge any of their members at all for redepositing the miles on any of their awards. That means booking with them is something you can do, even if you think you might take the trip, and you can cancel later—and it’s really a risk-free proposition. Other than that, the miles you have in your account can only be used for ticketing one trip at a time. Giving that sort of flexibility and that kind of confidence is something that I think is really valuable.

But getting cheap fares is not really that different than getting award seats: it’s very difficult to get award seats when you’re looking to fly where everyone else wants to go when they want to go. … As a general rule, you get award availability when you’re flying where other people aren’t going or on the planes other people aren’t taking.

Holiday travel airfare

Gary: Holiday travel is always hard. In fact, holiday travel with miles and holiday travel with cash, you’re not seeing a whole lot of deals. This is one of the things that American Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja talked about on their earnings call: They’re not releasing their cheap fares for the holidays yet, because they’re taking a wait-and-see attitude on passenger demand. They could fill all these flights really cheap now, but they think they may have a shot at filling them at a higher price point later on. And so the old advice about booking three months out, but for the holidays maybe six months out, is maybe not quite right. I think it’s much more along the lines of: Look for the flight that you want, whether it’s revenue or on an award, and when you find it, grab it. There’s more flexibility than there used to be in terms of changeability and in terms of returning miles. So grab it, and then consider improving or, if your plans change, retaining a credit or putting your miles back, or if you see a better deal come along later.

Watch the video to learn more about how to get the best flights, seats, and fares in 2021.

 


We’re Here to Help

Right now is a remarkable opportunity for global travelers who are vaccinated. When your friends say that travel is problematic as a result of the pandemic—rental cars aren’t available, service even at 5-star hotels is shoddy—the problem is they’re not planning their trips right! Travel can be spectacular now if you choose the right destination, know the savviest local fixers, and approach them the optimal way. Check out these recent trip reviews to see the difference that Wendy’s WOW approach to trip planning makes. And if you’re looking for a similarly carefree travel experience, contact us at Ask Wendy.

 

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Flying in 2020 and 2021: How Airlines Are Adapting and How Passengers Can Stay Safe

Air travel is a big stressful question mark for a lot of us right now. How safe is it? What steps are airlines and airports taking to ensure passenger health? How are airfares affected? And what about miles? We invited two air travel experts to answer all these questions and more during a recent Zoom chat.

Many of you may know our two speakers because Wendy has been recommending them for years. Brett Snyder is the founder of Cranky Concierge, a service that not only helps people find and book the best flight options, but also monitors those flights for schedule changes and subsequent refund/credit options. Brett also writes and hosts a podcast about the airline industry at Cranky Flier.

Gary Leff covers miles and points at his blog View From the Wing and also started Book Your Award, the go-to service for whenever you want to know how to get the best value for your miles and points. He understands the nitty-gritty of all the programs, so he knows how to move points from one program to another, who the partners are, and how to access hard-to-find award seats.

Below, we’ve excerpted their answers to help travelers figure out how to approach flight planning in 2020 and 2021.

Stay in the know about our future Zoom chats through our weekly newsletter; and if you have questions about how to approach your own trips during the time of COVID-19, write to Ask Wendy.

How can I find out which airports in my area are safe? And, once in the airport, what can I do to stay safe?

Brett Snyder: The airport experience is one that’s naturally going to be a challenge. You have a lot of people in a small indoor space, and so that’s where mask wearing becomes really important and hand sanitizer and all the stuff they tell you to do. But if you live in a city with multiple airports, a secondary airport might make you feel comfortable.

In the gate area, we have seen in some places they’ll block every other seat. As for boarding, they’re trying to do it in smaller group numbers, or back-to-front. But they still let the premium cabin and elite members board earlier, so it’s not true back-to-front.

Gary Leff: And do as much self-service as you can: Use the airline’s app to check in, so you have the boarding pass on your phone. Scan that yourself at the TSA line, scan it yourself at the gate. Airlines in many cases will let you print your own baggage tags and drop the bags off yourself, instead of involving someone else in the transaction. Your bag is still ultimately going to be touched by somebody else who moves it. But when you get your bag back at the other end, you’ve got your sanitizer. Self-service minimizes the touch points.

I feel more comfortable on the plane itself, where you have circulating outside air with HEPA air filtration, than I do inside the terminal. The interesting thing is that we really haven’t seen aircraft as vectors of significant spread. United CEO Scott Kirby may make the case more boldly than I would when he says that the aircraft is about the safest indoor environment that you could possibly have, but it is absolutely the case that we haven’t tracked a lot of spread to being on planes.

Which airlines are taking the most stringent and well-executed safety precautions?

Gary: I think all of the airlines are taking safety incredibly seriously. They’re doing more cleaning than they’ve ever done, with newer and more innovative technologies then they’ve ever used before. The differentiator is that middle seat. Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and Alaska continue to limit the number of people onboard so that they don’t have to fill middle seats, whereas United and American do not. It’s a uniquely U.S. thing, this idea of blocking middle seats. On airlines worldwide. this is not something that you’re going to find.

Brett: Most of the airlines are now doing questionnaires asking if you’ve had any symptoms. Of course, it’s very easy for someone to lie about that unless it’s something that a gate agent can actually see. The questionnaire doesn’t help with pre-symptomatic transmission, of course, but it still does help, as does the wearing of masks.

Another thing to consider is that the smallest airplanes—50-seat regional jets like the ERJ-145s or the CRJ-200s—don’t have HEPA filters. Now, that doesn’t mean all regional aircraft. The planes with 70 or 76 seats—those do have HEPA filters. So, if you are concerned, you might want to avoid those really small airplanes.

What can I do if I book the flight and then discover that it’s packed?

Brett: Some airlines will block middle seats. But on American or United, you could walk on and find that the airplane is full. Those airlines are telling people ahead of time if their flight will be relatively full, and they’re letting people change without penalty if they want to.

Gary: Airlines that are blocking middle seats or capping load factors—they’re offering more value to customers, so I would choose one of them. Although I would not choose to take a connecting flight on one of them versus a nonstop on American or United.

Is there a difference in safety if I’m on a three-hour flight vs. a ten-hour flight?

Brett: Well, I’m not a doctor, but the longer the flight, the longer your potential exposure to the virus. So I would assume if you’re sitting next to someone for three hours and that person’s nose is sticking out of his mask, ten hours of that is worse than three hours of that. Also, if you think about meal services—because that’s when you’re allowed to take your mask off: On a longer flight, you’ll have more food or drink. But again, as Gary mentioned, there just haven’t been many examples of transmission in an airplane.

Gary: Worldwide, there is really only one flight where there’s a consensus that the virus might have spread on the plane—but it also could have been in the gate area or on the jetway. It was the March 1st London–Hanoi flight on Vietnam Airlines, where several people were exposed during that trip and developed symptoms of the virus afterward. Again, it may not even have been on the plane itself.

This is why I was so concerned early on when the U.S. was placing restrictions on arrivals. It was a mess where people were standing body-to-body in arrivals holds for hours. The plane is where I am not super-concerned. But there are a lot of other elements of the trip that you have to watch out for.

Will airfare increase dramatically?

Gary: At some point in the future. But in the near term, I think that we’re going to see a lot of deals because airlines have added more flights to their schedules than the number of passengers has grown, and so there are empty seats.

The only thing that I think would fundamentally drive higher fares is if there were a law, say, that required blocking middle seats, and it took a third of capacity out of the market. Then, all of a sudden, you would have so many fewer seats that customers would be bidding up to get access to.

That doesn’t seem to be in the cards, though, so I wouldn’t expect much higher fares, except if you’re going to some place that’s really difficult to get to right now. Like, right now, if you have to go to Australia, they’re only letting in a certain number of people every day.

What are the odds of getting reimbursed for unused tickets if we don’t travel in 2020?

Brett: The answer is: It depends, because every airline has a different policy. If it’s a refundable fare, great, go ahead and get a refund. But for the most part, fares are not refundable—or, if they are, there’s a hefty penalty that goes along with it. So the best thing you can do is just wait and hope for a schedule change. A schedule change would potentially allow a refund, and your chances are pretty good at this point that there will be a schedule change.

Where it gets tricky is with international carriers. The rules that govern what happens to the value of a ticket are based on which airline issued the ticket, even if you have multiple airlines on that ticket.

Gary: If you are not able to travel because of circumstances on the ground, you might think: Because it’s a force majeure event and they closed the border, contracts are void. But that’s generally not how it works. If the airline operates the flight—if the flight takes off and you’re not on it—you can get a credit for canceling, but they’re likely not going to give you back your money. So if you choose not to go or circumstances mean it’s obvious you shouldn’t go, but the flight travels, you’re far more likely to get a credit than a refund.

Are there any advantages to booking now for 2021 trips?

Gary: The reason to book now is if you see an incredible deal. By incredible, I don’t just mean a good price—I mean orders of magnitude better than what you usually see.

One reason to wait is that we don’t know what the world is going to look like. Places that look pretty good now in terms of COVID-19 may not look great many months from now, and places that look bad now might look much better many months from now. So my inclination is to wait where possible, and only jump at either an outstanding deal or because that particular flight is really important to you.

But schedules will change, so if you book a flight for ten months from now, don’t assume that it will still operate exactly the same way. The options are going to be different.

Brett: Also, if there’s decent mileage availability and you see a flight you like, there’s not that much risk in booking it. Be sure what the rules are with your program, but worst case, you can get your miles re-deposited for a relatively small fee.

But you can’t book for most of next summer yet. The general rule of thumb is about 330 days in advance of travel—that’s when schedules open up. As Gary said, though, none of those are real schedules for the most part—they will change.

 

Be a safer, smarter traveler: Sign up for Wendy’s weekly newsletter to stay in the know. And read real travelers’ reviews of Wendy’s WOW List and use it to plan your next trip.

Closeup of passports and white airplane background the sea

Flight Deals Abound For Fall and Winter Travel, But Is It Smart to Buy Now?

It seems like airfare deals are everywhere these days, but so are the uncertainties about air travel. Refund and cancellation policies are changing all the time, routes and services are being cut left and right, and some airlines may not even exist when we finally make it through the pandemic and economic crisis. And on top of all that, there are big questions about how and when airplane travel will even be safe again.

Still, the good news is that (a) airlines are indeed offering some lower pricing, and (b) there are experts who follow this complicated industry closely and can help the rest of us navigate the mess. One of them is Brett Snyder, whom Wendy often recommends to her WOW List travelers for help booking and monitoring their flights. As founder of Cranky Concierge, Brett specializes in finding the smartest routes and fares and in solving flight delays and cancellations. We called Brett at home in California to talk about current airfare deals and what travelers need to know before taking advantage. If you’re even considering purchasing airline tickets for the future, read this first.

There seem to be airfare deals for travel at the end of this year and going into next year. Should I be buying tickets now?

There are deals to be had if you’re comparing to previous years. For travel around the holidays, you might not find the cheapest of the deals, but fares are still much cheaper than they would be in another year. But the big question is whether you’ll be able to get there.

Are the deals better for economy or business class?

It seems much easier to find cheaper fares in coach. Some airlines have cut business-class prices a little bit, but the deals are not as widespread across the board.

So is this a good time to splurge on premium-class fares?

It can be. In regular times, premium fares can be really low if you book far enough in advance, and in many European/Asian markets fares look to be pretty consistent with what we’ve seen in the past.  The one place we’ve seen great deals is South America.  There are fares under $1,000 in a premium cabin to some spots right now, and that’s amazing.  So you just need to look around and see what’s out there.

Are mileage-award flights discounted too?

They are not discounted, but there is more availability than you would normally expect to see, especially in coach. And for international flights, there are more seats available at the lower-point options. For airlines where the awards are tied to the dollar amount of fares, like with JetBlue or Southwest, then if the fares are cheaper, the point equivalent is also lower.

Is it better to buy a ticket for a domestic flight than international?

You have a safer chance of a flight happening if it’s within the U.S. The issue with international flights is that you don’t know what other countries—or what our country, for that matter—will allow in terms of quarantine and rules. So I would be hesitant to buy an international ticket right now. For domestic flights, airlines pretty much across the board are allowing you to change any ticket you buy without a fee.

Is it better to buy tickets for far in the future?

With most airlines you can’t buy tickets more than 330 days to a year in advance, so for the most part, you can’t buy any tickets beyond February or March 2021 at this point. There are always schedule changes when you book any flight far ahead, and the volatility is higher at this point because nobody has any clue what the landscape will look like in two months, let alone a year. So find out the refund or credit rules when you buy.

If I see a good deal should I jump on it or wait?

Once things stabilize, I expect we’ll see good deals to coax people out into the world again. So I don’t really see a reason to buy a ticket now, unless you find a particularly good deal.

But there’s nothing wrong with looking around right now. My wife’s parents always fly to us in California for Christmas, and I found some airfares that were pretty cheap, so we’ve been thinking about buying them.  Worst case, we can use the credit for flights to somewhere else. But a trip like that has a little more certainty to it in that you’re not relying on a destination or resort to be open. You’re really just relying on the ability to leave your house. So, visiting friends and family—that’s probably the best type of trip to plan right now because there are fewer variables.

In the meantime, if someone does want to book a flight, what are the most important things they need to be aware of?

There are a few things I would point out:

For the most part, if your flight is not canceled, you can’t get your money back, if you have a non-refundable ticket. A lot of people just assume, Oh, there’s a virus I should be able to get my money back. That’s not how it works. There are some exceptions, but for the most part it’s not.

What they are doing is allowing you to make changes and waiving the change fee. Obviously, if you had a ticket to Florida and now you want to go to Europe, you have to pay the fare difference—but at least you can make the change.

They’ve also extended how long those credits are valid for. You might be able to travel into next year or the following year, depending on the airline. That’s a nice perk for people who don’t want to travel, even if their flights are still going.

If your flight is canceled or the schedule changes, you really need to check with the airline because the rules vary greatly. For example, Delta will give you your money back if the schedule changed more than 90 minutes; United requires six hours. Worst case, you’ll be able to use the credit in the future, so it’s not like you’re going to lose the money entirely.

Finally, if you bought through a third party, do your own research on what you’re entitled to. Things are changing quickly, and some places we’ve dealt with have had no real interest in doing what they’re required to do. They may say you can’t get a refund, when in reality you can. So if you’re not getting the answer that you like, you can do your own research. Or you can sign up for the Cranky Concierge Refund Hunter and we’ll figure out and track your options, no matter where you bought the ticket.

How Air Travel Will Change in 2019

It’s that time again where I get to look into my crystal ball and see which airline trends will make news in the coming year. This year, my list isn’t quite as rosy as it was last year. But it’s not all bad news. Read on to see what’s coming in 2019.

1. More international routes from mid-sized U.S. cities

This trend was on the list last year, as airlines raced to add flights from interior U.S. points to Europe, as well as from small European points to the U.S. That trend continues in 2019. American blazed a trail by adding Philadelphia to Prague and Budapest last year, but next summer it digs even deeper with flights from Philadelphia to Dubrovnik and Bologna. Last year, British Airways went small in the U.S., with flights from Nashville to London. Those flights have done well, and now BA is going even smaller with flights from Pittsburgh and Charleston, South Carolina. As long as the economy remains strong, expect this trend to continue.

2. The fall of Iceland and the rise of Portugal

Iceland has been a hot tourist destination for some time now, and both stalwart Icelandair and upstart WOW Air have been pumping travelers to and through the country on the way to the rest of Europe. Capacity has grown far too quickly, and both airlines have been suffering. A recent proposal for Icelandair to acquire WOW fell apart and WOW has been teetering on the edge of solvency. WOW has already shrunk significantly, and I’d definitely expect to see even fewer seats from fewer U.S. cities. Meanwhile, TAP Air Portugal has been trying to grow its business as another gateway to mainland Europe. Up until now, it has had only limited gateways into the U.S., but expect that to change. TAP has new airplanes on order, and it recently announced three new U.S. gateways to Lisbon: San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington/Dulles, all launching in June. Keep that in mind if you’re looking for a place to spend a few days.

3. The incredible shrinking lavatory

You may have noticed things felt a little more snug the last time you stepped into an aircraft lavatory. Don’t worry—it’s not that you ate too much on that cruise. Both Boeing and Airbus have come up with space-saving lavatories primarily for short-haul aircraft. In these bathrooms, the sink extends further into your personal space, making more room for more seats in the cabin. How can you avoid these? Well, drink less water, so you won’t need to go as often.

4. More long-haul flights

If you thought that last flight to Tokyo was long, just wait until you see some of the newest flights being launched. Aircraft are increasingly being built with more range, and airlines are taking full advantage. Qantas opted to stretch the legs of its 787 fleet with the first nonstop flight from London to Australia. Granted, it’s from Perth and not Sydney, but Qantas has already asked for an airplane with enough range for that flight. The Gulf carriers (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and Turkish) have always operated long flights, but Singapore Airlines now tops them all. With the delivery of its new A350-900ULR (that’s Ultra Long Range) aircraft, Singapore has been able to re-start nonstop service from Newark to Singapore. That’s in addition to new service from Singapore to LA, San Francisco, and soon, Seattle.

5. Basic Economy spreads basically everywhere

It’s been a few years since the Basic Economy concept rolled out domestically in the U.S. Basic fares generally allow no changes and no advance seat assignments, and on occasion they don’t allow carry-on bags either. There are other restrictions as well. The upside? They cost less than a full coach fare. This fare strategy was originally isolated to the U.S. market and then spread into other parts of North America. Now it is catching on with more airlines. Alaska Airlines will have its version of Basic Economy rolled out for travel in 2019. And JetBlue has said it will follow. If you’re flying internationally, you might think you’re immune to this, but you’re not. We’re now seeing more of these fares head into the transatlantic market. The big three U.S. airlines and their European partners all have a form of Basic Economy flying over the water. Be careful to understand the rules when you buy your ticket.

 

Brett Snyder is President at Cranky Concierge, a service that Wendy recommends to WOW List travelers seeking the savviest help with international airline travel. Brett’s service ferrets out the smartest routes and fares, monitors your flights, and provides emergency rerouting assistance if your flight is delayed or cancelled. We asked him to talk about 2019’s biggest air travel trends and what you need to know about them.

Lisbon, Portugal skyline with Sao Jorge Castle

Exciting New Flight Routes That Will Improve Your 2019 Travel Plans

Brett Snyder is President at Cranky Concierge, a service that Wendy recommends to WOW List travelers seeking the savviest help with international airline travel. Brett’s service ferrets out the smartest routes and fares, monitors your flights, and provides emergency rerouting assistance if your flight is delayed or cancelled. We asked him to pick the new 2019 routes that should be on our radar:

The economy is still doing well (for now), and airlines are bullish for next year. For that reason, a slew of new flight routes are coming to an airport near you. Many will make your travels easier, and some popular vacation spots will become more accessible. Here are the domestic and international flight routes that will change travel in 2019.

The Most Notable New Flights Within the U.S.

To/from Seattle

If you’re headed to Seattle, especially to the north of town, consider flying into Paine Field—home to Boeing’s mighty widebody manufacturing plant—which will be opening for commercial service in February.  Paine Field is 25 miles north of the city (as opposed to Sea-Tac, which is 15 miles south). Alaska Airlines has the biggest presence here, with flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. Those start between February 11 and March 12. The only other airline in the market will be United, with flights to both Denver and San Francisco starting March 31.

To/from Hawaii

Once Southwest gets FAA approval, expect its flights to Hawaii to start quickly. Initial routes will launch from Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Oakland. There will be flights to all four major Hawaiian islands and even some inter-island flying. In the meantime, those in the eastern half of the country can celebrate more nonstop service to the Hawaiian islands. Delta will start flying to Honolulu from Detroit. And Hawaiian Airlines will make Boston its second destination east of the Rockies after New York–JFK.

New International Flights

Now let’s get to the really fun stuff. Portugal remains a hot spot, with several new routes from the U.S. to Lisbon this year. Los Cabos got a few new direct flights from Chicago (which started in November on Southwest) and Las Vegas (on Frontier). Morocco is now easier to visit, thanks to a new nonstop from Miami. Meanwhile, we’ve seen a couple of “firsts”: The good people of Charleston, South Carolina, snagged their first nonstop to Europe, while those in Los Angeles can now fly nonstop to Africa. And in late 2018 Singapore Airlines re-launched its longest flight in the world, between Newark and Singapore, and Kenya Airways introduced the first-ever nonstop between New York–JFK and Nairobi.

These are some of the more interesting route launches. (All start dates are 2019, except where noted.)

Boston to Lisbon, on Delta, starting May 23
Boston to Edinburgh, on Delta, starting May 23
Boston to Madrid, on Norwegian, starts May 2
Boston to Seoul/Incheon, on Korean, starts April 12

Charleston (SC) to London/Heathrow, on British Airways, from April 4 to October 24

Charlotte to Munich, on American, starts March 31

Chicago/O’Hare to Athens, on American, from May 3 to September 28
Chicago/O’Hare to Lisbon, on TAP Air Portugal, starts June 1
Chicago/O’Hare to Quebec City, on American, from June 6 to September 3

Dallas/Ft Worth to Dublin, on American, from June 6 to September 28
Dallas/Ft Worth to Munich, on American, from June 6 to October 26

Denver to Frankfurt, on United, starting May 2
Denver to Grand Cayman, on Cayman Airways, starting March 13

Ft Lauderdale to Guayaquil (Ecuador), on JetBlue, starting February 28
Ft Lauderdale to St. Maarten, on JetBlue, starting February 14

Las Vegas to Cancun (Mexico), on Frontier, starts December 21, 2018
Las Vegas to San Jose del Cabo (Mexico), on Frontier, starts December 15, 2018
Las Vegas to Tel Aviv, on El Al, starts June 14

Los Angeles to Lome (Togo), on Ethiopian, starting December 17, 2018
Los Angeles to Manchester (U.K.), on Virgin Atlantic, starting May 26
Los Angeles to Milan/Malpensa, on Air Italy, starting April 3

Miami to Casablanca, on Royal Air Maroc, starting April 3
Miami to Santa Marta (Colombia), on Via Air, starting December 18 (2018)

Minneapolis/St Paul to Dublin, on Aer Lingus, starting July 1
Minneapolis/St Paul to Seoul/Incheon, on Delta, starting April 1

Newark to Naples, on United, from May 22 to October 4
Newark to Nice, on La Compagnie, from May 6 to October 26
Newark to Prague, on United, from June 6 to October 4
Newark to Singapore, on Singapore Airlines, started late 2018

New York/JFK to Barcelona, on LEVEL, starting July 27
New York/JFK to Nairobi, started late 2018

Philadelphia to Edinburgh, on American, from April 2 to October 26
Philadelphia to Bologna (Italy), on American, from June 6 to September 28
Philadelphia to Berlin/Tegel, on American, from June 7 to September 28
Philadelphia to Dubrovnik (Croatia), on American, from June 7 to September 27

Phoenix to London/Heathrow, on American, from March 31 to October 26

San Francisco to Delhi, on United, starts December 5
San Francisco to Amsterdam, on United, starts March 30
San Francisco to Lisbon, on TAP Air Portugal, starts June 10
San Francisco to Melbourne, on United, starts October 29
San Francisco to Milan/Malpensa, on Air Italy, starting April 10
San Francisco to Tel Aviv, on El Al, starts May 13

Seattle to Hong Kong, on Cathay Pacific, starting March 31
Seattle to Osaka/Kansai, on Delta, starts April 1
Seattle to Singapore, on Singapore Airlines, starting September 3
Seattle to Tokyo/Narita, on Japan Airlines, starting March 31

Tampa to Amsterdam, on Delta, starts May 23

Washington/Dulles to Lisbon, on TAP Air Portugal, starts June 16
Washington/Dulles to Rome, on Alitalia, starting May 2
Washington/Dulles to Tel Aviv, on United, starts May 22

 

Be a smarter traveler: Read real travelers’ reviews of Wendy’s WOW List and use it to plan your next trip. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter @wendyperrin, and Instagram @wendyperrin, and sign up for her weekly newsletter to stay in the know.

Singapore Air first class suites a380

The Big Air Travel Trends of 2018: More Comfort and Price Points

There’s nothing quite like planning a big adventure to see something amazing, but chances are at some point along the way, you’ve had a momentary sense of dread. After all, to get to any of these exotic locales, you’re likely going to have to fly, and for some, that’s not a pleasant thought. Fortunately, trends in 2018 continue to point toward a better flying experience with more ways to get more comfort, more direct flights, and more flexible pricing options. Below, you’ll find 5 air travel trends (at least 4 of which are unequivocally positive) to look for in 2018.

New international routes from midsize cities

paris vacation rental with view of eiffel tower France

It’s never been easier to get to Europe from midsize cities. Airlines are adding routes such as Indianapolis-Paris, Nashville-London, and Philadelphia-Prague. Photo: Paris Perfect

If you live in the middle of the country, you’ve long hated having to connect through a traffic-choked U.S. airport to get over to Europe. This year, things are changing. Icelandair just announced it will fly from Kansas City to Iceland (and beyond). This follows an earlier announcement that both it and competitor WOW will fly from Cleveland. Bonus: Both Icelandair and WOW tend to have very competitive fares compared to the big guys. British Airways begins flying from Nashville to London this summer, and Delta will connect Indianapolis and Paris. Conversely, big U.S. cities are getting connected to smaller European cities. Flights like Newark to Porto, Chicago to Venice, and Philadelphia to Prague will be operating this summer. It’s never been easier to get from anywhere in the U.S. to anywhere in Europe.

First class gets (more) extravagant

Emirates' first class rooms with floor-to-ceiling walls and fully flat beds. Photo: Emirates

Emirates improves its first class by offering rooms with floor-to-ceiling walls and fully flat beds. Photo: Emirates

International first class has become increasingly scarce over the years as airlines opted to put most resources into an upgraded business class instead. But those airlines that have kept first class around have started to upgrade their offerings beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Emirates has recently rolled out a new first class featuring floor-to-ceiling walls making for a completely private room for each first class passenger (even more awesome than their suites, which had doors but not full walls). For those in the middle of the cabin, fear not. There will be virtual windows with real-time views of what you’d be seeing outside. Singapore Airlines has also put forth a similarly impressive major upgrade. On Singapore, if you’re traveling with another person, you can combine two of the suites to make one big one. If you don’t have an unlimited budget, you may want to consider using your miles, if you can find the space. And make sure to confirm that your route has the new suites onboard before you buy.

Premium economy takes center stage

Delta Premium Select premium economy seats

Delta is one U.S. airline improving its premium economy seating (called Premium Select) to compete with international airlines. Photo: Delta

If you’ve flown Economy Plus on United or Comfort+ on Delta, you may think you’ve flown premium economy, but you haven’t. Real premium economy is more than just the little extra legroom you’ll find on most domestic airlines today. It’s a wider seat that usually has leg or foot support. You get upgraded meals, priority check-in/security/boarding, and you get a higher baggage allowance. This cabin in between coach and business class has been around for years with some foreign airlines, but it’s becoming more and more popular. This year, U.S.-based airlines are finally stepping up their game. American now has many of its 787 and 777 aircraft flying with a premium economy cabin. Delta has also rolled out premium economy on its new A350 aircraft with more to come. Just last week, United announced it would introduce its own version of premium economy on some international flights as well. If you’re on a budget but want something better than coach, pay close attention to these options. You can often find premium economy options for less than double the price of coach and half the price of business class.

Business class gets stripped down (but at least fares are coming down)

We’ve only just seen the beginning of this trend, but I expect it to pick up steam in 2018. Business class has always been expensive, but fares have been coming down. With that trend, airlines have started pulling some amenities out of the basic business class fare. For example, Virgin Atlantic has long provided chauffeur service for its so-called Upper Class passengers. That perk was taken away from those on the lowest business class fares. Then there’s the case of British Airways, which actually charges for a seat assignment on any business class fare. As premium cabin prices become more competitive and airlines feel the pressure, you can expect to see more of the “à la carte” style we’ve seen in coach. That should mean lower business class fares will be available, especially if all you care about is that flat-bed seat and not the other frills. Let’s just hope they do a better job of implementing it than they did in coach.

The rise of one-way pricing

Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Pixabay

More airlines are offering affordable one-way pricing and in some cases, as with TAP Air Portugal, a free stopover in their home country. Photo: cristinamacia/Pixabay

Remember the days when flying in the U.S. meant having to buy a round-trip ticket and stay over a Saturday night to get the lowest fares? Those days are mostly gone thanks to the entrance of low-cost carriers, but that kind of pricing is still largely intact when you fly over the oceans. As low-cost carriers make inroads on long-haul flights, however, we’ve seen some airlines start to melt away those restrictions to get a leg up. Over the Atlantic, Norwegian, TAP Air Portugal, Icelandair, and Aer Lingus are known for having good one-way fares (and both TAP and Icelandair’s flights include a free stopover in their home countries). This can be hugely helpful if, say, you have enough miles to fly one way over water but not the return. This allows you to mix and match to get what you need, and it’s a welcome improvement.

 

Brett Snyder is President at Cranky Concierge, where he specializes in air travel assistance. Brett’s the guy to call when you need to find last-minute alternatives to canceled or delayed flights, book a complicated airline itinerary, or find an ally who can talk directly to airlines and untangle their rules and regulations. You can also follow his news and insights into the air travel world on his blog Cranky Flier.