Why holiday travelers should book airfare this week
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday travel season — at least for those looking to score flight deals.
Airfare booking and tracking sites indicate this week may be the least expensive period to book those costly holiday travel flights.
Both Hopper, an airfare prediction app, and Hipmunk, an online travel company, agree that holiday airfare should be booked prior to Halloween. Hopper’s data show a dramatic increase on domestic flight this Thanksgiving — $325 on average as compared to $288.
Hipmunk’s data looks at historical prices and found that the best time to book a flight is this week. The company estimates those who book now will save an estimated 27 percent on flights, as compared to those who wait until the last minute.
Hopper’s data concurs: It estimates prices will rise $10 per day for those who wait until November to buy.
“The busiest and most expensive day to depart is Wednesday, November 22. You can save $54 by departing on Thanksgiving morning or you can save $48 by departing on Monday, November 20,” according to the company’s Holiday Travel Index. “The busiest and most expensive day to return is Sunday, November 26. You can save $161 by returning on Wednesday, November 29th instead.”
When it comes to Christmas, it pays to book in early October. Hipmunk estimates that 84 percent of all Christmas flight bookings are made in early October. That means consumers will want to book early to get not only low prices, but their choice of schedules and seat assignments.
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