Airlines are expected to cut seating capacity on international flights to Europe next year between five percent and 10 percent, according to TravCorp USA, AAA Travel reports. The AAA Preferred Travel Partner expects the percentage of reduction to fluctuate by destination as the region’s economic outlook is evaluated. Airline seating capacity reductions to Paris, Frankfurt and London are among those currently being studied. Travelers are advised to book now for the best deals, AAA says.
As airlines contemplate capacity reductions, AAA surveys of intended travelers indicate that travel in general is increasing due primarily to pent-up demand, AAA says.
Responses to AAA travel surveys conducted throughout the year indicate that Americans have maintained a deep desire to travel throughout the economic downturn and have tired of waiting for the United States economy to improve. Increasing numbers of AAA Travel customers are moving forward with vacation purchases to Europe, AAA says.
“Americans need and want to spend time with family creating life-time travel memories and fulfilling their bucket list along the way,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services. “Current savings and booking incentives on European travel make this the perfect time to plan that dream Europe vacation.”
According to AAA Travel sales data, the top five European destinations for travel during the first half of 2012 are Rome; London; Dublin, Ireland; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Paris. Current Europe vacation purchases for travel in the first quarter of 2012 are 15 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2011, AAA reports. Sales for Europe travel during the second quarter of 2012 are 21 percent higher than the second quarter of this year.
"Most airlines and travel suppliers are responding to the pent-up demand and expected airline capacity cuts by providing immediate savings opportunities on travel to Europe."
Some cruise lines are modifying itineraries to appeal to specific travelers such as wine enthusiasts and moving more cabin capacity to popular destinations like the Mediterranean, AAA says.
Price reduction offers include sales on travel and cruises during the remainder of 2011 including the holiday season, early booking discounts and price incentives to pay-in-full at the time of booking for travel in 2012, to name a few. The key to securing a great travel value is knowing when to buy. For travel to Europe, that time is now, AAA says.
"Planning international travel can be a daunting task. Partnering with a professional travel counselor who specializes in international travel will save vacationers countless hours of research time, and provide access to additional vacation options sold only through travel agencies," AAA says.
Travel counselors at AAA Travel receive frequent international travel updates and stay abreast of price changes, document requirement changes, travel alerts and continuously monitor the overall international travel landscape, AAA notes.
AAA Travel also notes its recent launched of AAA Vacations – a collection of escorted, hosted and independent tours and vacation packages to destinations throughout the world. AAA Vacations are customized tours and packages designed to deliver unique, engaging and exclusive vacation experiences to AAA members.