March 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM EDT
Fly.com Study Reveals Domestic Flights are Hot, Europe is Not
Study Identifies Most Popular Routes and Price Trends for 5 U.S. Metro Areas

NEW YORK, March 21, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- Fly.com™, the world's easiest-to-use airfare search engine, today announced the results of a data study that shows a significant shift in destination preference among travelers flying out of New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.  At the same time, the study identifies dramatic price reductions in the cost of domestic airplane tickets, with flights to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas and Chicago offering the biggest year-on-year price drops.  In contrast, some flights to Europe are almost twice as expensive as this time last year.  

The study used 1 million Fly.com user searches to identify and compare the top route preferences (from the five origin cities) during Feb. 12 - March 12, 2012, against those searches made during the same period in 2011.  

At the core of Fly.com's findings is a clear indication that interest in European destinations has considerably diminished, compared with last year.  Instead, U.S. travelers are now setting their sights firmly on domestic destinations, particularly cities in California and Nevada.  This is likely due to rising airfare prices for international routes, which are up as much as 70% to cities such as London and Barcelona.  In contrast, fares for popular domestic flight routes have fallen by more than 40% in 2012.  

The Fly.com study also revealed a 2012 trend for destinations closer to home, with many of the top five flight routes out of New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston involving destinations that were less than a four-hour flight away.  

"These are very significant year-on-year changes in traveler preference," said Warren Chang, vice president and general manager, Fly.com.  "And it is clear that new low-cost carrier routes, as well as surging oil prices and airline consolidation across the Atlantic, have played an instrumental role in affecting this change."  

New York City: Barcelona dropped out of the top five most popular destinations for New Yorkers, as prices surged 31% this year.  Moreover, better fares for routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas – most likely driven by increased airline competition – has helped drive popularity for Western destinations.  


2012 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. San Francisco

Down 13%

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Down 18%

3. Las Vegas

Down 3%

4. Orlando

Up 16%

5. Miami

Up 8%





2011 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. Miami

Up 8%

2. Ft. Lauderdale

Down 10%

3. Barcelona

Up 31%

4. Orlando

Up 16%

5. Los Angeles

Down 14%




San Francisco: New York knocked London off its perch as the most popular destination for Bay Area travelers in 2012.  And, with the exception of routes to London and Miami, the most popular San Francisco flight routes in 2011 and 2012 (combined) have all dropped in price.  This demonstrates how travelers are benefiting from increased competition among Virgin America, JetBlue Airways, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines as these airlines and others continue to duke it out over the most popular West Coast routes.  


2012 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. New York

Down 17%

2. Honolulu

Down 15%

3. Las Vegas

Down 12%

4. Los Angeles

Down 2%

5. New Orleans

Down 2%





2011 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. London

Up 44%

2. Miami

Up 27%

3. Las Vegas

Down 12%

4. Chicago

Down 31%

5. Honolulu

Down 15%




Chicago: Chicago is the only major metro area with lower prices to Florida.  As a result, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale both make the top five route list this year.  In addition, new routes from Spirit Airlines to Dallas and Las Vegas offer travelers the biggest cost savings, with as much as 42% fare reductions.  No international destination is featured in the top five in 2012.  


2012 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. Las Vegas

Down 35%

2. New York

Up 7%

3. Orlando

Down 13%

4. Los Angeles

Down 40%

5. Ft. Lauderdale

Down 4%





2011 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. Barcelona

Up 11%

2. Orlando

Down 13%

3. San Francisco

Down 33%

4. Las Vegas

Down 35%

5. Dallas

Down 42%




Los Angeles: Airfares to London jumped 44% in 2012, turning Los Angeles travelers off the lure of the Olympic city, while Las Vegas fares dropped as much as 29% thanks to low-cost airline competition.  Likewise, a new carrier route to Chicago offers airfare savings of as much as 40%.  San Francisco also makes the top five list in 2012.  


2012 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. Honolulu

Down 18%

2. New York

Down 13%

3. Las Vegas

Down 29%

4. Chicago

Down 40%

5. San Francisco

Down 11%





2011 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. London

Up 44%

2. Honolulu

Down 18%

3. New York

Down 13%

4. Miami

Up 5%

5. Las Vegas

Down 29%




Houston: London prices have almost doubled since last year, pushing it far out of the top five.  But Houston travelers show their consistent demand for domestic destinations, with three of the 2011 top flight routes also making the 2012 short list.  


2012 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. Las Vegas

Down 11%

2. New York

Up 19%

3. Los Angeles

Down 29%

4. Orlando

Up 11%

5. San Francisco

Up 12%





2011 Top 5 Routes

2011-2012 Price Change

1. London

Up 71%

2. Las Vegas

Down 11%

3. Los Angeles

Down 29%

4. Denver

Down 26%

5. New York

Up 12%




To find the best fares for spring and summer travel, visit www.fly.com.  

About Fly.com

Fly.com™ (www.fly.com) is the world's easiest-to-use airfare search engine available in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.  Fly.com scours major U.S. airlines, international carriers and online travel sites, and then helps people easily sort and refine results by criteria such as number of stops and departure times.  Unlike online travel agencies, Fly.com is not a booking engine.  Instead, users are referred to their preferred website for direct booking.  Fly.com is owned by Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ: TZOO).  

About Travelzoo

Travelzoo Inc. is a global Internet media company.  With more than 24 million subscribers in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and 25 offices worldwide, Travelzoo® publishes deals from more than 2,000 travel and entertainment companies.  Travelzoo's deal experts review offers to find the best deals and confirm their true value.  In Asia Pacific, Travelzoo is independently owned and operated by Travelzoo (Asia) Ltd. and Travelzoo Japan K.K. under a license agreement with Travelzoo Inc.  

Certain statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.  These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations, prospects and intentions, markets in which we participate and other statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts.  When used in this press release, the words "expect", "predict", "project", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "intend", "plan", "seek" and similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements.  Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including changes in our plans, objectives, expectations, prospects and intentions and other factors discussed in our filings with the SEC.  We cannot guarantee any future levels of activity, performance or achievements.  Travelzoo undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.  Travelzoo and Top 20 are registered trademarks of Travelzoo.  All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.  

Media Contact:
Michelle Erickson
Fly.com, North America
+1 (650) 316-6835
merickson@fly.com

SOURCE Travelzoo

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