Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Fares...Don't Wait to Buy!

If you're thinking that if you wait until the last minute to get flights home for Thanksgiving, fares will be cheaper, think again.

Industry experts are expecting air travel around the holidays to be much more expensive than last year, with airfare said to be around $375 for Thanksgiving. Not only will prices be higher, but seats will be limited. Airlines have cut capacity 11% this year, which means fewer flights to a certain destination or smaller planes used on routes. So the chances of snagging that preferred aisle seat for a reasonable price are pretty slim this year.

And Christmas isn't looking much better for travelers. Those fares could be anywhere from 6% to 12% higher than last year, so no matter what, you're going to be paying more, even if you buy them now or later. I recommend getting them sooner, because at least that way you will have more seating options to choose from.

I was lucky this year, snagging Thanksgiving flights for around $300 round-trip, and Christmas for about $250 round-trip. But I have a tendency to start looking at flights far in advance of a trip, especially one that will be taking place over  a holiday. When I ventured to Boston earlier in the year for Fourth of July, I booked those tickets in February. You better believe I got a much better price than those girls who booked last minute. Then again, many airlines will roll out airfare promotions and limited-time offers, so in those cases, I say don't hesitate and jump on them!

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