Airfarewatchdog Survey: Most 2014 Summer Vacation Plans Not Even Made

While 83% Taking Vacations, Most Still Waiting to Book; Southwest Still a Favorite

May 22, 2014, 13:00 ET from Airfarewatchdog

BOSTON, May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Airfarewatchdog™, the most inclusive source of airfare deals, researched and verified by experts, today released the results of its 2014 Summer Travel Survey. Over 13,000 Airfarewatchdog subscribers responded to the poll, which indicated that most respondents plan to fly for vacation, but that 61% have yet to fully book their trips. 

Flying High

  • 77% of the Airfarewatchdog survey respondents said they are flying (or a combination of flying and driving) to their summer vacation destination while only 15% are planning to drive.

Most Travelers Saying "Yes" to a Summer Vacation

  • 83% are taking at least one vacation this summer—and they're spending.
    Of those who are vacationing:
    • The average overall summer travel budget is $4,467.      
    • 32% are taking 4–7 vacation days.
    • 22% are taking 8-11 vacation days.
    • 17% are taking more than 15 vacation days.

Last-Minute Planning Takes the Lead

  • 46% still haven't booked their summer vacation.
  • Only 38% of travelers have fully booked their vacation.
  • 15% have only booked a part of their vacation.

Which Is The Best U.S. Airline?

  • An overwhelming 29% said that Southwest Airlines is their favorite airline to fly, followed by Delta at 18% and Jetblue at 11%.

Airfares a Major Deterrent, but Still a Bargain Compared to Years Before

  • While many of us have to travel by air, there are still points of pain.
    • From a wide range of choices, expensive fares were the highest booking deterrent (74%) in the survey results. But not all fares have consistently risen over the years. New York to Liberia, Costa Rica cost $302 RT in May 2005, but recently it cost $288 RT. That $302 fare adjusted for inflation is equivalent to $366 today— so in almost 10 years, that fare has actually dropped $78 in inflation-adjusted terms.
    • Fees (all of them) were the second-highest deterrent (22%).
    • Lack of space/legroom on the plane rounded out the top three (18%).

Quote from Airfarewatchdog president, George Hobica:
"Judging by the average spend on vacations this summer of nearly $4500, it would appear that big budget travel is making a comeback. And almost a fifth of respondents are taking over two weeks of vacation this summer.  But it was no surprise that Southwest Airlines, with its generous travel change policy and low fees, continues to be our readers' favorite carrier. Another surprise was that almost half haven't booked their travel plans yet."

About Airfarewatchdog
Airfarewatchdog is the most inclusive source of airfare deals, researched and verified by experts. Airfarewatchdog is owned and operated by part of Smarter Travel LLC, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

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About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 260 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 150 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 39 countries worldwide, including China under TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 22 other travel media brands:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q1 2014; does not include traffic to

SOURCE Airfarewatchdog