Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Vincent Albos.
Holiday Airfare Is Increasing After This Week
The cost of holiday season plane tickets is typically more expensive than any other time of year. Travelers around the world are flying home to be with their families for the abundance of holidays celebrated once October ends. It’s one of the busiest travel times of the year and the price of roundtrip flights reflect the high demand.
Travelers who have yet to book their plane tickets are in luck this year. According to a new study from the travel booking app Hopper, mid-October is the best time to catch tickets for reasonable prices before the cost increase. The study also says most travelers will wait too late to book flights and miss out on the deals.
The holiday travel “sweet spot” this week is the last chance for travelers to snag incredible deals on flights around Thanksgiving and Christmas time. With 88 percent of young travelers expressing concern about the cost of flights, Hopper’s predictions may be the holiday deal you’ve been waiting for.
1. Prices Are Already Higher Than Last Year
Although flights during the Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons are already more expensive than last year, they are right in line with the cost of tickets in 2019. Plane tickets have decreased in cost since August and airlines are set to raise them again after this week. According to Hopper, the best time to purchase a holiday flight is between 10/10 and 10/20.
“This holiday season is shaping up to be an expensive one—with Christmas airfares up higher than in the past five years and Thanksgiving prices expected to peak well over $450 at the last minute,” Hopper said in a statement. “Mid-October is the sweet spot for getting great holiday deals.”
Currently, Thanksgiving airfare is averaging $290 per ticket this week. This is 24 percent higher than last season. However, Hopper says travelers still can find a great deal if they book in the next nine days. Christmas is more expensive with flights averaging $430 per ticket.
As the holidays approach, travelers can expect to see airfare increase by $10 a day through mid-November. Afterward, the average cost of holiday airfare could cost $580 per ticket.
2. Airlines Have Cut Schedules
Travel experts have already predicted this holiday travel season will be one of the worst for airports in the US. With Christmas and Thanksgiving being one of the busiest travel periods, travelers should expect delays given airlines have had staffing issues all year long.
Many major airlines have also cut flight schedules in November and December. However, the nice thing about booking your flights during mid-October is that a lot of flights aren’t fully booked yet.
Although a few airlines are bringing in bigger planes for routes with fewer flights, 60 percent of Americans plan on traveling during both major winter holidays. To avoid not getting a ticket at all, travelers’ best bet is to book a flight in the next week.
3. How To Save On Holiday Flights
There are many factors that contributed to flights being sky-high this year. The holidays are no exception and the cost of jet fuel, holiday travel demand, and limited flights will continue to drive prices upward.
“Hotels and airfares hit record highs during the summer of 2022, but those prices have reached a top,” said Sally French, a financial expert at NerdWallet. “If you’re building your next vacation budget based on a 2019 trip, understand that you’ll likely pay far more now for pretty much every expense.”
Booking your holiday flights before October 20 is the best way to get an inexpensive flight this late in the travel season. Setting up alerts on travel apps like Hopper is another great way to keep your eye on flight prices in the next coming days to snag the best deals. Other ways to save include being flexible with your travel dates, flying with different airlines, and flying into different airports or destinations.