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2019 was a great year for cheap flights worldwide. Coach deals to the other side of the world were constant, and if you were really lucky you could fly first class from Asia to the US for about $1100 round trip. While there’s no guarantee we’ll see those deals again, I feel confident making 3 low fare predictions for 2020. But knowing the travel expertise of PWaC readers, I want to read what you expect too.
Predictions for 2020 #1: Sub-$400 Deals To Europe Will Continue To Flourish
Finding ~$300 flights from across North America to Europe has recently been a matter of patience and not luck. And $400 flights are now available from many large airports on a regular basis. Granted those are usually (but not always basic economy). You can buy-up to main cabin for about $120 round trip, so it’s still a deal.
There’s no reason to expect these fares to spike in price, necessarily. Fuel costs may start driving prices somewhat higher, but competition will keep prices in check. Major airlines have added capacity too. You’ll still find flights from across the USA to Europe for less than $400, and yes, even sometimes during peak summer season.
Prediction #2: Premium Economy Deals Will Spread To More Flights
Premium economy bookable as a separate cabin really exploded last year. That doesn’t mean it was always a good deal, though; often it was over-priced. PE fares on the longest flights were sometimes as much as $1000 more than main cabin prices. But with a little searching, you could score great deals on bigger seats and better service for as little as $250 over coach.
As premium economy becomes more available, deals should start appearing more often. United has just expanded domestic PE options, and added international routes. I expect to bring you more opportunities like this from across the USA to Spain. Asia PE deal destinations will become more widespread than just Singapore and China. Sometimes, it’s worth it for a more comfortable 13 hours in the sky.
Prediction #3: Alaska Air Will (Finally) Devalue Their Award Chart
I hate to give a negative prediction, especially one so, well, “predictable.” (I know this isn’t technically an “airfare” prediction, either.) Travel writers have been expecting the death of Alaska Air’s fantastic awards, especially premium cabin awards, for years. After all, airlines have eliminated less-valuable awards, far more quickly? Why would Alaska keep the cheapest business class awards to Asia if they didn’t have to?
Alaska is committed to maintaining “the industry’s most generous mileage plan.” But they’ve never guaranteed they won’t change award costs. With American, Delta, and United now using dynamic pricing for awards, Alaska has less pressure to keep an overly customer-friendly award chart. I’m afraid that 2020 is the year deals like 50,000 mile business class flights to Asia will disappear.
Predictions for 2020 Conclusion
Making airfare predictions for 2020 isn’t a huge risk, but it’s definitely fun. I’m not psychic, and I’m sure you all have good ideas about what we’ll see this year. So what are your airfare predictions for 2020?
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