The Cheapest Days for Airline Travel This Thanksgiving

Bargain hunting for Thanksgiving flights have you stressed? CheapAir can help! Though Thanksgiving is the most popular holiday for air travel, if you know how to search for flights you can still save money this year.

Thanksgiving holiday

Our best fares for Thanksgiving this year will save you (on average) over $200 per ticket. You just need to approach the travel dates with a bit of creativity. What we mean is that if you’re willing to travel on nontraditional days for the holiday, you can save (sometimes a lot). Have we got your attention yet? Then check this out.

Cheapest departure dates overall:
Monday, November 21, and Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving)

Cheapest return dates overall:
Friday, November 25, and Tuesday, November 29

Cheapest overall itinerary:
Thanksgiving Day to Tuesday, November 29

Cheapest “practical” itinerary:
Wednesday, November 23, to Friday, November 25

November 2016 holiday calendar

What does this mean in terms of actual potential dollars saved? You could save as much as $225 a ticket (The least expensive itineraries are on average selling for about $339 roundtrip, while the most expensive itineraries average out to $564.).

While flying on Thanksgiving Day might not be your natural first choice, if you don’t have far to go it will offer much less congested airports and airplanes along with lower prices. What’s not to like about that? And remember that a lot of people are returning on Sunday the 27th. So what does that mean? You guessed it: higher prices and more stressful conditions (crowds, overbooked flights). If you can afford to take a couple of days off of work, we recommend extending that trip until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (the cheapest return date, historically).

Keep in mind that Thanksgiving fares will continue to increase as we get closer to the holiday, so don’t wait too long. You can read more about holiday fares on our Holiday Flights page, including tips, holiday news, and updates. Happy holidays and happy travels!

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2 Comments

  1. This november I plan to travel from fort lauderdale to philadelphia. I am flexible on my days. I need to do this on wednesday before thanksgiving, or on thanksgiving or the day after. Which is the best airfare day to do that. I am going to book hotel for a nov 19 wedding in key west. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jim, The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually the busiest and one of the most expensive days to fly for the holiday. Sometimes flying ON Thanksgiving can give you good airfare (and fewer people traveling, so much less stressful travel day). Have a look at our Holiday Flights page (check out the Thanksgiving tab) for a calendar of dates and advice on which are best to fly: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/holiday-flights/. Our Holiday Page usually goes up later in the summer, but I do think we will have a similar look and feel for Thanksgiving (that week tends to be very similar year over year).

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