Start Shopping Now For That Holiday Plane Ticket

It’s still summer (for one more day), and Labor Day is barely behind us, so it’s tough to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday plans.  But travel experts say better buy that plane ticket soon if you need to fly home for the holidays. And get ready to pay more for that ticket. One survey found that the cost of Thanksgiving flights are already 10% higher than they were last year.

Rick Seaney, co-founder of told ABC News that there’s no reason to discount flights when planes are full, so airlines will be less likely to offer discounts this year. Seaney says, “The bottom line is full planes, typically airlines will add a lot of seats when they know what’s going on with the economy, but right now the economy is tough, they don’t know what’s going to happen three months down the road so they’re not going to add seats and ticket prices are going to go up.”

Seaney says don’t wait until the last minute, and book by mid-October for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Two of his tips for cheaper prices?

  • Consider connecting flights. They’re often 30% to 40% cheaper than non-stop flights.
  • And the best time to shop for tickets is Tuesday at 2pm CST.

Seaney says, “If you shop at that time you catch the most number of seats because sales are filed on Monday. All the other airlines scramble to match Tuesday morning, so you should be shopping on Tuesday afternoon.”

Also, fly on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, if you can. And the Tuesday and Wednesday before and after Christmas tend to offer some better fares, along with the Monday before Thanksgiving.

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