Welcome to FareWatch 2012!
FareWatch is a blog series designed to track five travelers as they search Thanksgiving flights, notoriously the busiest time of year for air travel.
Why track airfares for Thanksgiving? We often compare airfares to the stock market: up one day, down the next. And there’s a reason for that—airfares can be unpredictable and they change often. But there are many things you can do to save yourself some holiday travel stress and we’re here to help. CheapAir’s expert travel advisors will be sharing travel tips and advice as we assist five travelers in finding the right flight for them this Thanksgiving. Most important, we’ll be tackling the question we hear most: When’s the right time to buy? Follow the FareWatch series to find out.
Meet your Thanksgiving travelers and welcome to FareWatch 2012.
FareWatch for the Student: Amy, Los Angeles
Amy is a student at UCLA and for Thanksgiving she wants to go home to see her family in Dallas. She’s flexible on the travel days, which helps, but she has an exam on Monday, November 19. She is not partial to any one airline, but she is on a budget. She needs to keep track of fares to grab a good one when she sees it.
Route: Los Angeles to Dallas
Dates: Flexible, but shooting for November 20 to 25
Budget: Hoping for something around $300, otherwise she may have to miss out on Thanksgiving with the fam.
Challenges: Other than price, none. Amy is traveling alone and checking one bag.
FareWatch for the Family: The Umlaufs, Milwaukee
The Umlaufs recently moved to Wisconsin from Chicago—but they’re homesick for their extended family in Phoenix. They recently had a baby and Mrs. Umlauf is working fewer hours, so they’re price conscious. Plus, traveling with a kid throws a whole new slew of challenges into the mix.
Route: Milwaukee to Phoenix
Dates: Shooting for November 21 to November 25
Airline Preference: None
Challenges: They have a newborn; there are few nonstop flights from Milwaukee to Phoenix
FareWatch for the Executive: Tom, New York City
Tom lives in New York and is an investment banker. He tends to work around a tight schedule—and will likely need to work on the plane. He’s planning on Miami for a sunny Thanksgiving weekend.
Route: New York to Miami
Dates: November 22 to November 25
Airline Preference: None
Challenges: Prefers a nonstop flight, requires WiFi, and must depart from JFK, not very flexible with dates and timing.
FareWatch for the Couple: Matt and Kelly, Denver
Matt and Kelly are determined to get out of Denver and head for the beaches of Maui for Thanksgiving. They’re a bit flexible on days and budget, but of course they want the best fare possible.
Route: Denver to Maui
Dates: November 16, Return November 24
Airline Preference: No preference
Challenges: They are checking more than one bag, and will likely deal with at least two connections.
FareWatch for the Last Minute Traveler: To be shared in early November
Our mystery traveler doesn’t plan and will be scrambling for a last minute flight deal. We’ll be sharing this traveler’s story in early November and will work with this person to figure out the best flight options on the fly.