How to get the Cheapest Flights for Thanksgiving

Cheapest Flights for Thanksgiving 2018

Believe it or not, it’s already time to start thinking about Thanksgiving, the popular U.S. holiday that falls on Nov. 22 this year. Make plans now, then start shopping for Thanksgiving flights.

Prices Will Rise

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is one of the busiest times to fly in the U.S. Airlines know this, and raise their prices to take advantage of the demand. Fares for Thanksgiving generally begin to rise on a daily basis starting in September and continue to increase into November. It’s not much at first; maybe a dollar or two per day but this can rise to $5 per day in October and that can really add up.

When to Buy Thanksgiving Flights

If you plan to fly the most popular travel days, the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving, or the Sunday after, buy tickets as soon as possible. If you aren’t ready to buy, at least set up a price-watch to keep an eye on your flights. Holiday fares won’t exactly be cheap now – Thanksgiving fares are never cheap – but and at least you can lock in the price of the most expensive days before the price hikes begin.

Worst Days to Fly for Thanksgiving

The most expensive departure dates for Thanksgiving travel this year are Tuesday (Nov. 20) and Wednesday (Nov. 21). The most expensive return date is Sunday (Nov. 25).

Just how different are the prices for travel during the week of Thanksgiving? Average fare prices for pre-Thanksgiving travel on Tuesday or Wednesday are currently running from 50% to 130% more than Tuesday/Wednesday flights the week before the holiday.

Good Days to Fly for Thanksgiving

There are no true “good” days to fly at Thanksgiving. All flights are expensive, but some days are cheaper than others… think of it as getting the best of the bad deals. Travelers can usually save some money by flying by the Monday before Thanksgiving (or earlier) and the Tuesday after (or later). The further away from expensive days you get, the better the deal.

Best Day to Fly for Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, is the generally cheapest day to fly in the entire holiday period. Because no one wants to fly on the holiday itself, prices are lower for this travel day.

Tip: Fly out as early as you can on Thanksgiving Day and you won’t miss a minute of the feast or the football game.

The Top 10 Airport Deals

If you’re flexible or don’t want to fly during the Thanksgiving rush, these dates are super cheap.

Do Not Delay!

Now is the time to start shopping for and purchasing Thanksgiving airfare. Be sure to search and compare flights before buying. Safe travels!

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Jodi Robbins
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