Change was in the air for the travel industry this past year—and most of it wasn’t great. We kept you up to ground speed on air travel procedure changes and answered your questions on everything from the latest and most mysterious airfares to airport quirks. But there were also some silver linings up in those clouds, and we had the chance to celebrate innovative programs that have actually made air travel better, like new layover city tours. These were your favorite stories of the year.
2017 was the year of the basic economy fare. The big three U.S. legacy airlines all started offering this stripped down class of airfare to compete with low-cost carriers (although some quickly changed their minds and dropped the option). Surprisingly, not all basic economy fares were created equal, and we broke down each carrier’s basic offerings to compare.
4. The Most Mysterious Airline Fare Class, Explained
We demystified this mysterious class of airfare that can sometimes cost more than 10 times the cheapest fare, from who is buying it to whether or not it is a good deal.
3. 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Airports
How do airports get their codes? What really qualifies as the world’s busiest airport? And what the heck is going on when multiple flashing lights start going off across the roof of an entire airport terminal? We found the answers you’ve been looking for.
2. 6 Airports Where a Layover Can Become a Mini-Vacation
Airports such as Narita International Airport in Japan and Istanbul Ataturk in Turkey are now offering free city tours to layover passengers. We took a look at six airport layover programs that allow connecting passengers to glimpse the city beyond between flights. It’s like tacking a mini-vacation onto your larger one.
1. Going Through Airport Security Just Got More Annoying
On July 26, 2017, the TSA announced that all electronics larger than a cell phone must be placed in separate bins for separate screening. While there was no change to the items that could be carried on, the new rule required that everything from Kindles to cameras must be removed from your bags—unless you have TSA PreCheck, of course.
>>Next: What to Expect in the Air This Holiday Season