The CheapAir Holiday Fare Index has taken a sharp dive over the last two days as some broader fall and winter fare sales have found their way into the holiday travel periods. The index has dropped 236 points since Sunday to 8608, the lowest it’s been since June 26. If you’re not an airfare geek like we are, here’s the English translation: it’s a good time to check fares if you’re planning on traveling for the holidays!
Since this is the first big drop like this since we started monitoring holiday fares, we’ll throw in some words of caution. The fare index paints a picture of average fares, across all markets, across all travel dates around the holidays. It is a useful glimpse into the overall state of holiday air fares, but it’s important to understand that prices to every city on every possible travel date do not rise and fall in unison. How full a particular flight is goes along way into determining future fares for that flight. So flights to the most popular cities on the most popular travel days tend to stay on the high side, even while fares overall are falling.
This doesn’t mean you need to change Christmas in Orlando to the week-before-Christmas in Buffalo, but it does mean that if you want to save money and you’re travelling to someplace popular (i.e. warm), it’s especially important to check out our holiday fare calendar so you can plan around the most expensive days.