Saving on holiday airfares
Q: I've read so many times that holiday airfares are much higher this year than last, so I have been afraid even to look. When are the cheapest...
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Saving on holiday flights
Q: I've read so many times that holiday airfares are much higher this year than last, so I have been afraid even to look. When are the cheapest days to travel and when are the cheapest days to search for airfares this holiday?
Should I wait until the last minute or is it already too late?
A: On average, fares are higher this year than last. But you may be able to find a relative bargain, even at the last minute if the airlines capitulate and lower fares on a few seats.
Here are my ways for finding travel deals for the holidays:
• Keep looking at least three times a day until you find something good (you have nothing to lose except a few minutes of your time). Fares fluctuate throughout the day, and the number of seats at the lowest fare can change minute by minute.
• Sign up for fare alerts from travel websites (such as Yapta, TripAdvisor, FareCompare, Airfarewatchdog).
• Be willing to take inconvenient flight times (6 a.m. departures, red-eye flights, etc.) and connecting flights.
• Look at nearby alternate airports. (It may be cheaper flying one way into one airport, and out of a nearby airport.)
• Check Southwest.com, Allegiantair.com and Spiritair.com separately (assuming they fly where you're going); these airlines do not share their fares (or best fares in the case of Spirit) with third-party websites.
• Travel on Thanksgiving Day, return the Saturday or Monday after, or on Christmas Day and return the Tuesday or Wednesday after.
— George Hobica / Airfarewatchdog.com
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