Hurry Up, Procrastinators! Thanksgiving Airfare is Rising

At FareCompare, we know how it is. You get busy. Other things take priority. But finally, you’re ready to shop for your Thanksgiving airline tickets. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is, it’s getting very late. The good news is there are still ways to save.

Don’t worry. Just do what Rick Seaney says:

All set for Turkey Day? Then find cheap flights for Christmas

What to Pay for Airfare – Then and Now

Back on Sept. 26, airfare expert Rick Seaney revealed Thanksgiving fares for shoppers to aim for. Now Rick has released new airfare goals in this final week of October and as you can see, the prices have jumped – in some cases dramatically.

It’s not all bad news, though; some of the increases on shorter flights aren’t much. “But this is your wake-up call,” says Rick, who added shoppers must compare prices. “No airline always has the cheapest fares all the time,” he pointed out, so if you only go to a single airline site, you could miss out on a deal. Let’s compare “then” (Sept. 26) with “now” (last week in October)

Your guide to the best deals for Thanksgiving

Prices to shoot for: Long-haul flights

  • THEN: For flights including Wednesday and Sunday travel, about $550
  • NOW: Under $700

Prices to shoot for: Medium-haul flights

  • THEN: For flights including Wednesday and Sunday travel, about $375
  • NOW: Under $380

Prices to shoot for: Short-haul flights

  • THEN: For flights including Wednesday and Sunday travel, about $200
  • NOW: Under $230

What You can Still Do to Save

Here are four ways procrastinators can still save on Thanksgiving flights.

  1. Shop now: Prices will continue to rise.
  2. Add a stop: Non-stops are preferred of course, but if you add a stop (or two) you could see dramatic savings – as much as 60% or even more.
  3. Fly hubs: You may have to drive farther (or even a lot farther) but generally the larger the airport, particularly an airline hub, the better your chances for cheaper airfare.
  4. Fly overnight: Check out fare difference for flights at times you don’t want to travel – this is typically where you’ll find the deals.

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Published: October 24, 2013