Thanksgiving travel absolutely defies the laws of economics. Somehow airlines put out their absolute worst product -- painfully crowded planes, almost-guaranteed-delays, airports that look like refugee camps -- while tripling their average airfare. And we, the suckers of the American public, still pay it. Grandma’s ire is a powerful thing.
Figuring out WHEN to book your Thanksgiving flight is an important, if inexact, science. Book too early and the airline will know you're a hyper-planner who is willing to overpay just to get your plans settled. Book too late, and you'll pay up the nose for your procrastination. We got the folks at Skyscanner -- a search engine that constantly monitors for the cheapest airfares -- to weigh in, and they say that the week of October 17th is the sweet spot for getting the cheapest fares for Thanksgiving flights. Exact results may vary depending on your route, but now is the time to get those holiday plans finalized.
After analyzing data on travel habits from 2015, Skyscanner found that right now you can save an average of 5% off typical fares for November 20th through the 29th. Keep waiting, and prices are only bound to rise from here.They also ran numbers for Christmas and New Years, with the week of November 21st rating as the best time to book Christmas travel, with a potential 6.4% savings. The best week to book a New Years’ trip is December 5th when you can save a whopping 10.5%.
None of this is an exact science, of course, and if your peace of mind is worth potentially paying more than you have to, by all means go ahead and book Spring Break now. But if you haven’t bought your Thanksgiving plane tickets yet, and are at risk of a daylong guilt trip if you don’t, today is the day to make it happen.