The Best Time to Buy Thanksgiving Airfare Is …

by on October 21, 2011 · 11 comments

in Travel Industry

I’m always asked about buying airfares and to be honest, I really don’t have a clue. Trying to make sense of airfare fluctuations and fare rules is a game I don’t have time to play.

However, the geniuses over at pulled together a ton of data around historical Thanksgiving airfares to show when the right time to buy might be and by the looks of it, now might be a good time to get your airfare locked in. Per the chart below, fares increase drastically in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. This wasn’t completely surprising information, but I thought I’d share it with any TPG readers who might be procrastinating and hoping for super cheap fares in November.

What I did find interesting was that fares start sky high in the summer and are basically at the same price of a last minute fare. I guess this makes sense – take advantage of the risk-adverse people who will pay top dollar to know that their busy season travel is taken care of. Personally, I don’t know why everyone freaks out so much about Thanksgiving travel – yeah, it’s a little crowded, but it’s no different than many other peak travel periods. A packed plane is still a packed plane whether it’s a day before Turkey Day or a busy spring break weekend.

In any case enjoy the data and I hope it saves a TPG procrastinator a couple bucks!

Kayak Thanksgiving Fare Data

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  • Brian(J)

    We always travel on Thanksgiving day itself. Seems quieter to me, not busy at all. Flying to NYC from Seattle for a week and probably will be able to price line a good hotel as well.

  • Lauren

    Any insights into the best times to book christmas travel?

  • Flyer Fun

    I have noticed that I have obtained elite upgrades on Continental/United when I have been flying on Holidays despite the planes being packed. My theory is that Holiday flyers tend to be vacationers and not business flyers who are more likely to be elite. Any thoughts on my theory?

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree..upgrades are easy during the holidays

  • Pingback: The Best Time to Buy Thanksgiving Airfare Is … | The Points Guy | Thanksgiving 2011

  • Dennis

    The best time to buy is early, but on an airline that gives no-hassle refunds for price drops. I bought my tickets on Airtran for the wife and I way back when, but got 40% back on them in the one day that the price was at its minimum.

  • HikerT

    Just curious, where did you find the data on the kayak site? Did you need permission to post the graph here?

  • Chris S.

    Is the day before Thanksgiving a decent day for a VDB voucher run?

  • Anonymous

    Their PR team emailed it to me directly and encouraged me to share

  • LikeBright

    I agree too! And also certain destinations are easier to get upgrades like Orlando or Las Vegas.

  • sonora

    yes please, as Lauren asked, “Any insights into the best times to book christmas travel?”

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