Cheapest and Most Expensive Days to Fly Thanksgiving 2016

Haven’t bought your Thanksgiving airline tickets yet? Shop now. When it comes to Turkey Day travel, any delay makes already expensive fares worse. Also, fly the cheapest days during the Thanksgiving holiday, which can save as much as 65% on more expensive itineraries.

Thanksgiving: Most Expensive Days to Fly

The following Thanksgiving fares are the result of analyzing 1.8 million airfares in mid-October for 100 of the busiest domestic markets, using proprietary FareCompare data. The prices are averages; your costs will vary based on departure and destination cities and more but these averages provide a guideline. Here’s what we know.

  • $662 – Wednesday to Sunday (Nov. 23-27)
  • $649 – Sunday to Sunday (Nov. 20-27)

The high price of the Wednesday/Sunday itinerary should come as no surprise since these are traditionally the most popular days to fly.

Thanksgiving: Cheapest Days to Fly

There’s no such thing as truly cheap days to fly at Thanksgiving, but these itineraries will show you how to find the best of the bad deals.

  • $367 – Thursday to Friday (Nov. 24-25)
  • $395 – Thursday to Tuesday (Nov. 24-29)
  • $406 – Tuesday to Friday (Nov. 22-25)
  • $420 – Monday to Friday (Nov. 21-25)
  • $425 – Tuesday to Tuesday (Nov. 22-29)

Notice that the very cheapest itinerary is an overnight trip. Also notice that the top two cheapest itineraries require flying on Thanksgiving Day itself (Nov. 24). No big deal; fly early in the day you won’t miss out on any of the festivities.

Other Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Flights

  • Compare airfares: I cannot stress this enough – always compare airline ticket prices. If you only go to a favorite airline site to get your airfare you risk paying too much (maybe, way too much) because no airline always has the cheapest flights.
  • Add a stop to the routeA connecting flight is often significantly cheaper than a non-stop flight. This isn’t always true but often enough that you should always compares prices for different routes.
  • Use a carry-on: This is free on most airlines but even more important, a bag that travels with you is a bag that cannot get lost. You’ll also get out of that crowded airport earlier.



Updated: October 17, 2016