Buy your holiday airfare by mid October — it's 'the best time to book,' economist says


‘Prices will start to rise after about Oct.14th’

Travelers are seeing cheaper flights this year. Domestic round-trip tickets for Thanksgiving average $268, a 14% reduction from last year. According to Hopper, Christmas prices are $400 round-trip down 12% compared to last year. There may be deals through the end October but don’t wait if your travel dates are set between school and work. Book as soon as you can, because prices will increase each day as holidays near. “

Flight prices are likely to spike significantly each day in the last three weeks ahead of each holiday, Hopper anticipates.

Secure your flight and confirm your seating

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Weather and air traffic disruptions caused a lot of turmoil for holiday travelers last year. It’s important to plan for the possibility of delays and cancellations, given the high demand for holiday flights.

“Those determined to avoid the summer crowds and heat may be planning to travel during the holidays, driving prices up,” said Ayoola.

Holiday travel numbers are expected to resemble or surpass results from 2019, wrote Phil Dengler, co-founder and head of editorial and marketing of travel site The Vacationer.

Take one of the first flights of the day if possible. You’re two times more likely to be affected by flight delays or cancellations after 8:00 a.m., Berg said.

While nonstop flights are often more expensive, they can help travelers bypass the risk of missing connections due to a flight disruption.

Travelers might also look into travel insurance, and brushing up on your rights if your travel plans are interrupted.

Moreover, if you are not flexible on the specific flight you need to take, “ensure you have a seat on your desired flight,” Berg added.

While picking your seat can come at an additional cost with most airlines, it may serve as a peace of mind for travelers.