The Top Trends in Air Travel and Airline Lounges for 2024

According to First in Service (F1S), private jets and international business class reservations are enjoying a huge upswing among its U.S.-based business and luxury leisure travel clients. The move toward these improved air perks that reduce travel hassles is the top air trend in both the United States and Canada, according to a recently conducted survey among F1S travel advisors who identified the key trends shaping respective domestic and international air travel, as well as the evolving landscape of airline lounges for the year 2024.


Domestic Air Travel Trends

Richie Legouri emphasized the growing popularity of private jets for ease of travel between locations, especially for those with busy schedules. Lindsay Santoro also noted a rise in inquiries about private jets and charters, driven by the desire for a less stressful travel experience amid disruptions and challenges. To the same point, Nasiha Safiyullah observed that high-net-worth clients are increasingly favoring private jets as their preferred mode of travel. Corporate clients are also opting for private jets, according to Michelle Clausi, who highlighted a trend among midsize corporate clients with larger budgets opting for private jets to avoid overnight stays in challenging-to-reach cities.

F1S advisors also reported rising interest in domestic exploration: Leah Winck is seeing an increase in clients willing to explore and learn more about the United States, with a corresponding rise in requests for private air travel.

Lastly, Stacy Weigant found clients are more apt to purchase premium economy or business class for travel as trying to use status or miles for free or upgraded tickets is becoming more challenging. Flights are usually quite fully booked and they want the comfort of premium cabins.

International Air Travel Trends

When traveling internationally, F1S clients are looking to book business- or first-class. Legouri noted the growing preference for business- or first-class travel for additional comfort during international journeys. Shannon Santiago similarly reported that business class remains a top-selling option for international travel. (She also says that despite higher fares and global events, those with the means are still choosing to travel, highlighting the resilience of air travel demand.) VIP services are also in high demand. In addition, Lindsay Santoro observed families splurging on flight upgrades, recognizing the journey as the most stressful part of their trip.

As well, Esther Klijn highlighted an increase in demand for VIP meet-and-greet services on arrival and departure, driven by a desire to avoid long lines and enhance the post-flight experience.

Thelma Abhyankar additionally noted a trend of travelers opting for more refundable fares and flying business class for international journeys. Weigant highlighted a trend where more clients are spending the extra for premium economy or business class, but are willing to be flexible with dates and times to secure the best rates for a more comfortable experience, especially on longer flights.

While Winck said she's seeing more interest in exploring the U.S., she added that she is also seeing an increased demand for international air, with the greatest interest in Asia.

Airline Lounge Trends

On the lounge front, Santoro noted the comeback in amenities lounges had previously been discontinued due to the pandemic citing upgraded services. However, Winck emphasized the need for U.S. lounges to enhance their services compared to international counterparts, pointing out shining examples in Dubai, Istanbul, London, Paris, Tokyo and Bangkok.

Related Articles

Where to Go in 2024: Column

Joby to Launch Air Taxi Service in U.A.E.

Virtuoso Shares Nine "Must-Have" Experiences for 2024

Internova: Leisure Travel, Use of Travel Advisors Growing