Holiday Flights

Our Data Shows You Should Buy Your Holiday Flights Early

September 7, 2021

Here at, we are in the business of providing you with useful info to help you make important travel decisions. One of our most popular reports on Holiday Flights aims to make holiday flight shopping simple, straightforward and economical.

This year we decided to take a look back – to see if airfares are rising or if you can expect a bargain this year.

The Holiday Flights Elephant in the room

This year, it’s a big question. Will flights be more expensive than in the past or will airfare be cheaper? Will the pandemic continue to impact people’s willingness to travel? Or, will the increasing number of fully vaccinated Americans and the need to visit family members make people more comfortable? If lots of people decide to get out there, it could be that airfares go crazy this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Surprise! Holiday Airfare is Not Going Up…Yet

What we’ve uncovered is this. Last year, a lot of people didn’t travel for the holidays. Because they didn’t, airfare was a bargain. Airfares were on average about 20% less than they were the year before on CheapAir.

So far this year, holiday flights are about 15% MORE than they were last year at this time (but remember – they were uncharacteristically low last year due to low demand). If you set the weirdness of last year aside, overall flights have been trending lower for the holidays.

Holiday flights in 2018 are just over 5% less than they are this year (so far). Holiday flights in 2019 were 6% more than the airfares are right now. This is all to say that we are poised to have a very nicely priced holiday season for customers.

You Should Still Buy Early…

Having said this, we believe shoppers (that’s you!) should still plan to buy early and here’s why. The airlines are going to be dropping their prices for the fall season, focusing on their more expensive routes. For example, this means that travelers going from Los Angeles to New York can now see fares as low as $113 on United from September to November.

This is a not-so-transparent way to encourage people to fly and we think they will. Once people start to book holiday flights, the bargains will sell out – very quickly. Don’t find yourself on the losing end of this proposition.

Protect Your Price

We do know that knowing when to buy can be quite tricky in a volatile market. You’ve always got a secret weapon in your back pocket with CheapAir. We offer Price Drop Payback – a nifty little bit of insurance for travelers. If you should buy an airline ticket (or group of tickets), we’ll “protect” your fare to the tune of up to $100 a ticket.

Buy Now Pay Later

In addition, we want to remind you that we offer monthly payments. You can book flights and accommodation with us and pay for it in a number of easy installments. Sometimes people like to take this option when airfare might be straining the budget. And our finance partner Affirm, makes the whole process easy peasy.

We’re Here to Help

As we get closer to the holidays, we’ll keep checking in to let you know how prices look. But you should also bookmark our Holiday Flights page, so you can track where fares are right now. You can also easily pull up your search history from our home page, to help keep organized. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at or shoot us a question in the comments section below.

Happy travels!


    1. Hi Jane, it often depends on where you are going. For domestic flights we would generally recommend waiting until the beginning of the new year. Three months before travel is usually the best time to buy for summer. We do recommend you start tracking your flights. If you see a good airfare jump on it. Also, if you do book on we have a Price Drop Guarantee on flights. Thanks!

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