According to the trade group Airlines for America, nearly 209 million people will fly on domestic airlines this summer. Of these travelers, 27 million passengers will use U.S. carriers to fly to international destinations.
Here is what this means for you:
1. Don’t Rely on Empty Seats
If you are hoping the middle seat next to you will be empty, don’t count on it. Plane cabins are expected to be 86% to 87% full throughout the summer. So if you want a specific seat assignment, don’t wait until online check-in to secure your seat. This includes families who want to sit together. Try and get your seat reservation at the time of booking, even if it means paying a few extra dollars.
2. Discount Fares
Despite the typical supply and demand pricing model, there are plenty of airfare deals to be found this summer, thanks in part to stable fuel prices. Just make sure you book quickly when you see a good price because airfare prices constantly fluctuate and the deal may not be around for long.
3. More Lines at the Airport
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time at the airport to get through TSA security lines. It is not uncommon for these lines to take more than 40 minutes to navigate. Also consider paying a little extra for priority boarding if you don’t want to queue with the masses to get on your plane.
4. Be prepared for less overhead luggage space
It makes sense that more passengers will likely mean more luggage in the cabin. Keep this in mind when you make the decision about whether or not to check your bag. But beware of baggage fees.