For the majority of passengers traveling for leisure, price is the most important factor when deciding which flight to book.
As airlines continue to compete for price-conscious travelers, the cost of long-haul flights is likely to fall even more. So if you don’t mind sacrificing “extras” like checked bags, legroom, and meal service, 2018 will be a great time to travel for cheap.
A report from European online travel company eDreams ODIGEO found that the cost of long-haul fares fell 7 percent in 2017: “Airlines across Europe are increasingly engaging in a transatlantic price war, with for example low-cost carrier Norwegian selling flights from the U.K. and Ireland to America from as little as £69 one way or £138 return,” the report said.
In addition to airlines like Norwegian, AirAsiaX and WOW Air, there are also new players entering the long-haul, low-cost market this year.
The airline LEVEL (from IAG, the company that owns British Airways and Iberia) announced new routes starting in March 2018, including Barcelona to Boston and Paris to Montreal, New York City, Guadeloup and Martinique. One-way airfare starts at $118.
Related: Where to Go in 2018
And Air France’s “hip,” lower-cost airline targeted at millennials, Joon, started offering service from Paris to Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon and Porto. Starting in March, the airline will expand to routes in Rome, Naples, Oslo, Istanbul, Cairo, Cape Town and Tehran. Long-haul flights from Paris to the Middle East start at $175.
As we head into 2018, airfare cost is less likely to be a prohibitive factor in selecting a travel destination. Check out T+L's guide to the 50 best places to travel in 2018 for ideas.