comscore Airfares up, but lower than usual | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Airfares up, but lower than usual


    People pose for pictures alongside Android lawn statues at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Fans of tech culture will find a variety of places to visit and take selfies around Silicon Valley.

Airfares typically soar for travel around Labor Day weekend. This year is no exception.

From Aug. 16 until the start of this weekend, domestic airfares were predicted to shoot up nearly 30 percent, according to an analysis by the travel site CheapOAir.

Despite the price jump, airline tickets for Labor Day weekend travel are either on par with or cheaper than Labor Day fares over the past few years. Industry experts attribute the lower fares to cheaper jet fuel.

Based on the study, the average cost for tickets sold in August for Labor Day weekend flights are only $3 higher this year than last year. But this year’s average ticket price is more than $50 less than in the same period in 2014 and 2013 and about $15 cheaper than in 2012.

Airlines for America, an airline trade group, has projected a 4 percent increase in total passengers flying on U.S.-based airlines this holiday weekend. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport are expected to be the busiest airports during the holiday weekend.

Fliers favor savory flavors

This spring, Cornell University reported that the constant loud jet noise inside airplane cabins affects passengers’ taste buds, causing them to crave tomato juice over other beverages.

In noisy environments, it turns out, sweet foods just taste duller. Savory foods, also called umami foods, taste better and richer.

What else should you be eating or drinking in flight? Keep drinking that tomato juice, or choose green tea. Aim for anything that includes ingredients with umami savory richness. That includes foods like roasted tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, aged cheeses, bacon, beef, chicken soup or broth, roasted squash or soy sauce. (New moms, here’s a bonus: Breast milk is high in umami taste, so hopefully baby will nurse better in the air.)

Researchers did not find any effect of airplane noise on passengers’ sense of sour, salty or bitter foods, but previous research commissioned by Lufthansa Airlines showed that passengers’ sense of salty and sweet tastes diminished by 30 percent when exposed to low cabin pressure.

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