Some Coal, Some Diamonds: Expedia "Holidata" Analysis Shows Many Holiday Flight Routes to Be Busier Than Last Year, But Also Less Expensive

#ExpediaSendMeHome Instagram Campaign Sending People Home for the Holidays;One Winner a Day from November 19 to December 18 Earns Free Flight Home

07 Dec, 2015, 08:01 ET from Expedia.com

BELLEVUE, Wash., Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Data from Expedia.com®, one of the world's largest full service online travel sites, reveals a mix of news for the 2015 holiday travel season, some good, some less so. Many popular flight routes this season will run fuller, meaning tighter confines inside already-packed December planes. The good news, however, is that many of those same routes will be less expensive to fly: average coach fares to the most popular holiday destinations between Dec. 18-31 are down more than 5% from 2014.

From 11/19 to 12/18, Expedia is flying one person a day home for the holidays with its #ExpediaSendMeHome campaign. To be considered, Instagram users are asked to follow @Expedia, share their favorite holiday photo and describe why they want to go home for the holidays with the hashtag #ExpediaSendMeHome. Full details can be found here.

The top ten busiest airports this holiday season are**:

  1. Los Angeles (LAX)
  2. Las Vegas (LAS)
  3. Chicago (ORD)
  4. Orlando (MCO)
  5. New York (JFK)
  6. San Francisco (SFO)
  7. New York (LGA)
  8. Atlanta (ATL)
  9. Cancun (CUN)
  10. Miami (MIA)

Top Air Destinations and Routes for Christmas 2015***
Top destinations for Christmas include many of the usual suspects such as Chicago, New York and Seattle. In fact, Expedia holiday data analysts have found that average ticket prices are down between 5 and 10% in some top destinations, including Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cancun and Orlando in addition to Chicago, New York and Seattle.

Additionally, travelers flying on some of the most popular holiday routes are likely saving more on their tickets versus last year. For example, average ticket prices (ATP) for those flying from San Francisco to Las Vegas are more than 30% less than last year's holiday season. Those flying from Chicago to New York can except to save more than 25% from last year and ATPs from Los Angeles to Chicago, Los Angeles to Honolulu and New York to Miami are all down 10% or more from last year.

* Book Date: Jan 1-Nov 17, 2015; Use Date: Dec 18, 2015Jan 31, 2016
** Based on combining all origin and destination ticket volumes for ticket; Departure: Dec 18Dec 31, 2015
*** Coach; Travel dates: Dec 18-Dec 31, 2015

Christmas Hotel Demand
Within the top ten markets (see below), Expedia holiday data analysts have found increased consumer interest in California's diverse offerings, with Anaheim, San Diego and San Francisco trending upwards for travel between 12/18-12/25/2015. For those looking for savings during this period, San Francisco hotels also have a nearly 5% decrease in their average daily rates versus 2014. International destinations including London, Rome and Puerto Vallarta are also rising in popularity this year, and each will offer lower daily rates versus this period in 2014.

Top Hotel Destinations for Christmas 2015

Rank

Top Destinations

1

Las Vegas

2

Orlando

3

New York City

4

Los Angeles

5

Anaheim

6

Miami

7

San Diego

8

San Francisco

9

Cancun

10

Chicago

*Booked Date: January 1November 22, 2015; Christmas Date of week travel: 12/18 – 12/25/2015

Expert Holiday Travel Tips
"With so many more travelers flying home this season, it pays to do some homework and prepare yourself ahead of time so you can travel smart," said Expedia Senior Editor and Travel Expert Sarah Gavin. Gavin's top travel tips for the holiday season include:

  • Be flexible with travel dates. The most crowded travel day for the Christmas holiday is the day before Christmas Eve, so if flyers have the flexibility, they should consider traveling the Sunday before Christmas instead. Likewise, since the busiest day for New Year's Eve travel is the day after Christmas, if possible, travelers should consider flying on New Year's Eve.
  • Bundles are the gift that keep on giving. Customers who book airfare and hotel as a package – at the exact same time, vs. separately – on Expedia.com can save up to $568, or nearly 20%. And for those in need of a rental car this season, book it as a package with a flight or hotel and potentially save nearly 55% (For pick-ups between 12/16 and 12/19/15).
  • Manage via Mobile. Modern travel apps are tightly attuned to the logistical specifics of travel, helping travelers with their itineraries, gate numbers, baggage claim carousels and any relevant changes or cancellations. Power up your travel app and keep it within reach at every stage of the trip.
  • Mind your manners. Expedia just released its annual list of Airplane Etiquette offenders. The most offensive air passenger is the "rear seat kicker." The top five least-popular fellow passengers are:
    • Rear Seat Kicker
    • Inattentive Parent
    • Aromatic Passenger
    • Audio Insensitive (talking or music)
    • The Boozer
  • Enter to Win. Follow @Expedia on Instagram and enter to win a free flight home for the holidays by posting your favorite holiday image with a caption and tagging #ExpediaSendMeHome.

New Year's Eve Travel is Trending
Expedia data analysts are seeing more interest in New Year's Eve travel this year, due to a longer weekend on the tail end of the holiday. There is good news for deal seekers as there are values to be found for hotels in popular destinations like New Orleans, Dallas and San Francisco, all with average daily rates down 10% from 2014. Through November 22, some of the fastest-growing destinations for stays on New Year's Eve include Atlantic City, Atlanta, Seattle and Los Angeles.

*Booked Date: January 1November 22, 2015; New Year's Eve stays beginning 12/31/2015

Top Remaining Value Destinations
The clock is ticking on holiday travel, but good deals certainly remain. Top values for Christmas or New Year's flights include Honolulu, London, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana and Miami.* Christmas hotel deals feature a range of options, including New Orleans, Lake Tahoe and Washington, DC (ADRs down by less than 5%).** For New Year's Eve deal seekers, New Orleans and San Francisco are great bets for travelers.

*Based on combining all origin and destination ticket volumes for ticket Departure: Dec 18Dec 31, 2015
**Booked Date: January 1November 22, 2015; Christmas Date of week travel: 12/18 – 12/25/2015
***Booked Date: January 1November 22, 2015; New Year's Eve stays beginning 12/31/2015

About Expedia.com
Expedia.com is one of the world's largest full service travel sites*, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (https://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, cheap tickets, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps. With the Expedia® Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.

Expedia, Expedia.com, Expedia Rewards, Find Yours, Vacation Deprivation and the Airplane logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners © 2015 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST # 2029030-50

SOURCE Expedia.com



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