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In case you haven’t glanced at a calendar for a while, Thanksgiving is on Thursday (yes, this Thursday)!

But for travelers without firm plans — or for people who have decided last-minute to ditch the dinner drama and fly far away instead — it’s not too late to book a flight. Though the best time to buy holiday flights was in October, you can still get tickets for under $500 round-trip for travel between Nov. 20 and Nov. 25. Just be sure to act fast.

We used Kayak’s Explore tool, which allows you to set your parameters (departure airport, dates and maximum budget) to find available fares for $500 round-trip or less from major airports across the US. Don’t expect to make it to Paris on a tight budget this late in the game, but there are a number of great vacation destinations — yes, even international — where travelers can pass the long holiday weekend.

Travelers should be willing to get creative, of course. Many of these flights involve two one-way tickets, or a handful of other tricks (mixing and matching airports; getting to the office late on Monday) to bring down the total cost.

Don’t see a deal from your departure city? Don’t fret. Just use Kayak, or your preferred flight search engine, to look for the best deals from your home airport.

And whenever possible, book directly with the airline (or through Amex Travel) using The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5x points. If you’re directed to book through Orbitz, Kiwi or another travel portal, charge the tickets to your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card for 2x or 3x points, respectively.

Departing From New York City

Departing From Chicago (ORD)

  • Hack your way to Cancun (CUN) for $421 with two one-way tickets on Spirit and Volaris (This is a Hacker Airfare.)
  • Ditch dinner and the wintry weather with a $492 round-trip Hacker Fare to Las Vegas (LAS). Just note, you’ll have to spend the holiday weekend with Spirit and Frontier.
  • Take advantage of $443 round-trip flights to San José del Cabo with American Airlines.

Departing from Los Angeles (LAX)

  • Spend Thanksgiving in Vancouver (YVR) with a $438 round-trip Hacker Fare. To make it work at this price, however, you’ll have to fly home via Abbotsford (YXX), an hour drive away.
  • If you have flexibility with your schedule, fly on Thanksgiving Day and return on Monday morning for $414 Hacker Flights to Mexico City (MEX).
  • Hop over to Las Vegas (LAS) for $327 round-trip with a variety of airlines.
  • Squeeze in an easy nonstop flight to Austin (AUS) for $497 in Delta basic economy

If you do book a spontaneous Thanksgiving flight, remember to leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and through interminable security lines, especially if you’re traveling out of these 10 airports.

Feature photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
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Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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