If you’re planning to fly for the holidays, we urge you to purchase your airline tickets soon. Buying early can save you a lot of money. To help you make those important flight decisions, we’d like to share the most expensive days to fly as well as some tips for saving money on holiday flights.
The day you travel can save or cost you money. Some days are more expensive because they’re popular travel days. It’s all about supply and demand. We know this because every year we crunch the data by tracking 11,000 popular holiday itineraries to come up with our Holiday Flight Report. This year, the Friday before Christmas (December 22) has the most expensive flights for outbound travel. Going home, the most expensive days to fly this year are the day after Christmas (Tuesday, December 26) and New Years Day (it falls on a Monday). If you must fly on any of these premium priced days, the earlier you can buy the better to secure a decent price. If you do wait until late in the year to book, Christmas Day flights are usually available and relatively inexpensive (as compared to the cost for flights the day before Christmas). And as a bonus? Less crowded airports!
Christmas Flights & New Years Flights
Another important takeaway from our Holiday Flight Report is that delaying your purchase can be a costly calculus if you’re not careful. Christmas and New Year’s flights are quite simply less expensive when you buy early. If you buy in October, you’ll likely pay $5 more, in November $56 more, and in December a distressing $143 more per ticket.
What happens if you wait? You can still get a holiday airline ticket, but there are a couple of consequences. Not only does waiting mean you’re paying more, but you’re also going to be facing fewer flight choices. As we get closer to the holidays, the most attractive itineraries with good connection times start to fill up leaving procrastinators with what’s essentially the leftovers of the early bird shoppers. You might still be able to get that great itinerary, but you’ll pay a premium for it as seats on that flight sell out. More often, the budget traveler is left with less convenient flights at more expensive prices that they could have avoided had they just bought a bit earlier.
So that’s it. Purchase your holiday flights now to save yourself more money later. And don’t forget to research the day you plan to fly because not all days are priced the same (and some are much more expensive). If you’re not married to the most popular travel days, you can shave off some additional dollars.