September is often one of the best months to buy a reasonably-priced Thanksgiving airline ticket. This year, September is actually the best month to buy.
Here are the 5 things you need to know before you buy your Thanksgiving airline ticket.
Flexibility is Key
To land a good deal, you need to think outside your comfort zone. People like to buy airline tickets on their favorite carriers. They also like certain days, certain times of day, and with the fewest number of stops possible. If you keep an open mind and your options open, the possibilities are endless.
For example, if you’ve locked into flights on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, you could miss a great deal on Tuesday or Monday. Depending on your market, checking a day earlier or later for flights can make a huge difference on your bottom line.
Mix and Match
CheapAir.com has a “Mix and Match” option on our flight search. You can potentially take one airline on your outbound flight and a different airline for the flight home. But why would you do this? Well, you can save more on your ticket this way. Most other online travel agencies don’t offer this option at all – but it is how we deliver some of the best prices in the business.
Put on Your Reasonable Expectations Hat (Before You Even Start Your Search)
Shopping for Thanksgiving flights means you’re traveling at one of the most popular and expensive times. It’s not unusual for Thanksgiving flights to be priced 20 to 30% higher than flights at other times of the year. If you go into a flight search hoping to get a fare that you’ve found at other times, you may be disappointed. Manage your own expectations and plan to pay a bit more.
Be Ready to Buy When You Find a Good Deal
Many a traveler gets burned waiting to buy. It’s never a good idea to sit on a decision for a day, or week or even an hour. Flight pricing is volatile. With other people shopping your itinerary, you take a big gamble if you wait to buy. We understand the impulse to try and find out if the ticket price is going to go down further. Take it from the experts: it is not a good risk and there’s no way to predict this.
CheapAir.com does offer a little security in a feature we call Price Drop Payback. If your flight goes down in price after you buy, you’ll get reimbursed up to $100/ticket. That’s our way of offering you a little “price insurance.”
Look Into Alternate Airports
This tip works in larger markets, where a metropolitan area might have two to five airport options. You might be comfortable with one airport, but we urge you to cross-reference other options. For example, LAX is the most popular airport in the Los Angeles area, but the airport is often crowded and unpleasant to get to. Flights into Burbank or Long Beach (in the South Bay suburb of L.A.) often beat the prices into LAX and offer an easy, pleasant airport experience.
For more Holiday flight tips, please check out our Holiday Flights page.