(BPT) - Summer break is an American institution, and that midyear break is often best enjoyed through travel. This year is no different; in fact, many experts expect this year's summer travel season to be among the busiest ever. That is particularly true when it comes to air travel.
According to research from Airlines for America, a record 234.1 million passengers are expected to travel by air this summer on United States-based airlines. That figure represents an increase of 4 percent over last year.
So why are so many people taking to the skies? Below are five reasons air travel is going to be hot this season. They might just motivate you to go and book your trip.
* More disposable income. An increase in the United States' gross domestic product, coupled with a lower unemployment rate, means more Americans have disposable income they can use to travel. Trips that were once considered road destinations are now being targeted for flights, allowing travelers to spend more time at their final destination and less time trying to get there.
* Increased entertainment options. The days of planning to simply sleep on a plane are over. Travelers now have access to fast, consistent and global in-flight Wi-Fi with Inmarsat's GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell's JetWave hardware so they can stream their favorite Netflix shows, YouTube videos and even use Facebook Live. This advancement provides high-speed, in-flight Wi-Fi with the reliability travelers are used to having at home or in the office. And best of all, this Wi-Fi is the first service to span the globe, meaning you can stay connected traveling at 35,000 feet around the world.
* Reduced travel expenses. Air flight used to be seen as a luxury expense, but that is no longer true. Improved airline efficiency and increased competition in the market have sent the price of airline travel down for several years. The reasonable price of crude oil has also helped keep airfare a much more affordable option for summer travels than it was even five years ago.
* A more comfortable, reliable flight. A flight delay or turbulence can start any summer trip on a negative note. According to a recent survey by YouGov, 47 percent of U.S. adults who've flown in the past 12 months are most frustrated by late arrivals or departures while 35 percent said on-time arrivals and departures would make them most excited to fly again. Improved technology is reducing those risks while making the entire flight more comfortable. Honeywell's GoDirect Weather provides data that pilots can access through a mobile app to find real-time weather reports along their flight path. GoDirect Weather also provides crowd-sourced, real-time weather data that's shared from other planes flying in the sky. Pilots can then use this data to adjust their flight paths in response to the conditions they will face, meaning fewer flight delays and a safer, smoother flight for travelers.
* Still the safest way to travel. You've heard the statistics that you're more likely to suffer a fatal collision on your way to the airport than in the air, and it's true. Every year, the number of fatalities associated with flying dramatically pales in comparison with driving, and this trend is expected to continue. New flight technologies introduced every year are helping pilots avoid bad weather and overcome maintenance problems that can cause airline accidents, resulting in an increased number of safe, uneventful flights. So plan your vacation with a flight in mind. It's a secure, quick way to make the most of your summer trip this year.
Read more about Honeywell Aerospace on the Follow the Aero blog.