Travelers want to get the best price for their airline ticket. That’s pretty much requirement “A” for most folks. To make things more interesting, the holidays can be a more complicated time to shop since airfare is already priced at a premium when published, due to the increased demand.
The Thanksgiving holiday price spikes are quite predictable year over year and if you know which days to avoid, you can usually purchase a reasonable ticket.
The CheapAir.com Holiday Flight Report has a handy calendar for reference so you can see exactly which days offer the best value.
The days just prior to Thanksgiving tend to be more costly. This year, the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Turkey Day will be more expensive than Monday of Thanksgiving week. Traveling on Monday will save you about $25 more than travel on Tuesday. And traveling on Tuesday will save you a few more bucks than traveling on Wednesday. But the biggest savings by far are on the return flight dates.
The most expensive day to fly every year during Thanksgiving week is the Sunday after the holiday. It may not surprise you to learn that this Sunday is also the busiest travel day of the year. Travelers (for the most part) go back to work on the following Monday, which makes flying home on Sunday the most popular and expensive day to fly. If you can take a personal day at work and plan to fly back on Monday, you’ll save an average of $88 over flying on Sunday. Want an even better bargain? Fly home on Saturday to save an average of $128 a ticket.
Now, if you happen to be a “go against the grain,” “road less traveled” kind of person, you might also consider flying to your Thanksgiving plans on the holiday itself. The main benefit in going this route is the fact that you can avoid the crowds by traveling when the airports are a relative ghost town (comparatively speaking). Sometimes you can also save big on flight costs. This year savings are the same on average flying on Wednesday, Thanksgiving-eve or Thanksgiving day.
If you really must travel on an expensive travel day, we advise you not wait any longer to buy. The fares will only go up as we get closer to Thanksgiving. Well, there you have it–the low down on Thanksgiving flights and how to avoid those expensive travel days! Up, next? The most expensive days to fly for Christmas and New Years and how to save!