Holiday Air Travel Season Could Be The Busiest Ever

Sep 24, 2018
Originally published on September 20, 2018 7:55 am

If you plan to travel over the holiday season, now would be a good time to start booking flights.

Dean Headley, a Wichita State University marketing professor and co-creator of the annual Airline Quality Rating survey, said he expects to see a historically busy travel season this year.

“All the information I can garner is that we’re going to see one of the heaviest travel seasons we’ve seen possibly ever,” he said.

Headley said the increase is a result of the strong national economy.

With the increased demand for flights, Headley said travelers can expect to see a jump in the price of tickets. To save money, Headley suggests booking flights at least two months in advance.

The number of delayed flights is at its peak during the holiday season as well. Headley said early morning flights are less likely to be delayed than flights later in the day.

Headley has researched and tracked airline performance through his Airline Quality Rating for 28 years.

Each year, the survey gives ratings to 12 major airlines based on mishandled baggage, consumer complaints, on-time performance and involuntary denied boardings.

The two best-performing airlines for 2018 were Alaska and Delta, both of which fly out of Wichita's Eisenhower National Airport. The two worst-performing airlines, Spirit and Frontier, also fly out of Eisenhower.

For more information about airline performance or holiday season travel, visit www.airlinequalityrating.com.

Ray Strunk is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.

Copyright 2018 KMUW | NPR for Wichita. To see more, visit KMUW | NPR for Wichita.