Travel Alert: Thanksgiving, Christmas Fares About to Skyrocket
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Let's talk turkey! You know you should visit the family for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the wallet pleads for mercy. What to do? History shows us that Thanksgiving and Christmas fares spike after Columbus Day weekend, so don't delay your search any longer unless you want to be the turkey this year.
As I do every October, I've been tracking prices on dozens of key routes that indicate pricing trends for holiday fares across the board. Here's what I'm seeing so far.
You'll be surprised to see in the charts below that prices on the majority (90 percent) of the routes I'm watching have remained the same or decreased slightly since last month. Generally speaking, cross-country flights are down since September. Of noteworthy significance are long-hauls like Boston/Los Angeles and Newark/Las Vegas, down by $55 and $104, respectively.
The bad news is that Thanksgiving fares will generally cost you 10 percent more than last year. As if that isn't enough, fees have spiked since last year as well, so skip the doggie bag and simply eat seconds at mom's.
More than 70 percent of the Christmas routes I'm watching are still selling at the same prices (or are slightly less) than last month. Since we're all dreaming of a white Christmas, there's an opportunity here to make it the white sand instead: I'm noticing San Juan, Puerto Rico, fares dipping by as much as $51 since last month around the holidays. That's on par with last year's prices. Most other routes, however, don't hold steady with last year's prices. About 75 percent of them are higher than 2010 rates.