With more people working remotely, many travelers have more flexibility over when to fly. In that case, you may be able to shave a few dollars off airfares by following the advice of Expedia, the online travel agency. Its data shows that fliers can save 30 percent, on average, by flying on the Monday before Thanksgiving compared to the prior weekend. Returning home post-feast, Friday, Nov. 25, and Monday, the 28th, are the cheapest days to fly, saving five to 10 percent compared to Sunday, Nov. 27.
Over Christmas week, Expedia found ticket prices are around 20 percent cheaper on Monday, the 19th, and Tuesday, the 20th, compared to Sat., Dec. 17.
Based on 33 billion price quotes over the past five years, the booking app Hopper recommends making travel plans no later than Oct. 20. The service predicts that tickets will rise $10 a day from the end of October through Thanksgiving. The same pattern will take hold for Christmas week flights beginning in mid-November.
In late September, Jessica Stroup, a physical therapist in Chicago, used Google Flights to start tracking December flights to Syracuse, N.Y. From $194 round trip, they began to inch up by early October, convincing her to act when they hit $214. “It was up $10 and then $5 and I just knew we had to buy,” Ms. Stroup said.
Hopper’s lead economist, Hayley Berg, predicted that Christmas 2022 “will be the most expensive in five years” thanks to a variety of factors, including jet fuel prices, inflation, a low supply of seats as airlines continue to restrain capacity and high expected demand. Thanksgiving rates are currently in line with 2019.
‘The hidden best week’
For bargains, holiday-season travelers should look abroad, particularly in late November, when domestic travel is expensive.
“I like to call Thanksgiving the hidden best week for international travel,” Mr. Keyes said. “Essentially, it’s one of the cheapest times to travel for the whole year.”