It’s Not Too Late to Buy Thanksgiving Airline Tickets

We get it. You’ve been busy and November snuck up on you. Or, maybe you’ve simply waited a little longer than you planned and now you’re scrambling for a last minute deal. Well, don’t stress too hard.

woman in winter coat in airport

While you will likely have to pay a bit more (about $30 more on average than if you’d bought your tickets last month), there are still reasonably-priced Thanksgiving tickets available. Here are some tips to scoring Turkey Day tickets that won’t break the bank!

Stay Flexible
As we’re closing in on Thanksgiving, the “ideal” ticket may be quite a bit more expensive than it was a few months ago. Ideal to you might mean: nonstop flights on your favorite airline, flights with perfect layovers, flights where everyone in your party sits together in their ideal window or aisle seat, all tied up with a bow.

To get the good deals that are left, be willing to look on a variety of travel dates (sometimes travel on Thanksgiving will yield less full airplanes, for example). Even just tweaking your departure or return date by one day can open up better possibilities and lower ticket prices. You can check out our Holiday Flights Page to get all the details on the best days to fly.

Check Other Airports
When flying into a major metropolitan area like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York or Chicago, there are alternate airports to consider. Now, you may have your favorite airport in mind, but remember. You’re being flexible this year and you’ve got an open mind. This might save you some cash!

Keep Your Expectations in Check
As we mentioned, waiting until later to buy your Thanksgiving tickets will almost certainly mean you are going to have to pay a little extra. It’s best to shake it off, make a note to start your shopping earlier next year, and plan to pay a little extra now. If you wait until you get within 2 weeks of your travel dates, the flight prices are going to make another big jump and you do not want to have to deal with those prices. If the prices are still a bit too steep for your budget, you might consider….

…Buy Now, Pay Later
An option for more cost conscious travelers, or folks that have an unexpected expense come up might be to consider making monthly payments. This will keep your travel plans on point, and allow you to defer some of that expense until after you’re back from those fun and fabulous holiday family obligations.

family in airport looking out window at airplanes

Great Deals You Can Take Advantage of Today
Some destinations are less expensive this year than they were last year for Thanksgiving. We’ve broken down some of the best roundtrip deals for you to consider from some of the most popular cities to travel from. Check out these great flight deals that were more expensive in 2018 than they are right now!

From Chicago
A lot of destinations from Chicago have trended less expensive than they were in 2018 for Thanksgiving. Here are just a few of the best and most popular destinations from the Chicago metropolitan area.

Minneapolis $178 ($100 less)
Raleigh-Durham $195 ($100 less)
Houston $228 ($50 less)
Boston $243 (same)
Denver $260 ($10 less)

From San Francisco
From San Francisco, the trend overall is for fares to remain about the same as last year, or to be slightly higher. But there are some destinations that have trended less expensive. The destinations below have dipped from the prices they were at last year.

Los Angeles $277 ($75 less)
San Diego $307 (about the same)
Guadalajara, MX $350 (almost $100 less)
Dallas $365 (about $30 less)
Calgary, CA $382 (about $75 less)

From Los Angeles
Holding steady in Los Angeles. The good news for Los Angelenos is that most airfares haven’t gone up or gone down. While you’re likely not to see a huge drop in price from last year, you’re not going to get slammed with pricier tickets either. Austin and Seattle prices are a slightly better value on average in comparison to 2018 prices. Here are a few of the popular, “steady as she goes” destinations.

Las Vegas $142
San Francisco $144
Phoenix $222
Seattle $243
Austin $281

From New York
New York is a bit of a mixed bag, with many destinations still offering savings over last year, but just as many holding steady and others being slightly more expensive than 2018 prices. Here are a few of the picks for good deals out of New York.

Charlotte $195
Pittsburgh $198
Richmond, VA $202
Cincinnati $229
Cleveland $234

Hopefully, these tips and fares will give you some confidence that you still have time to get that Thanksgiving visit into action. Don’t forget to check out the Holiday Flights Page for more tips and a calendar that will show you the best days to fly. Happy holidays!

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