Christmas Flight Alert: Price Drop for Sunny Destinations

According to AAA, 90 percent of all Thanksgiving travelers are packing the car and driving to their feast. Of the remaining 10 percent, 8 percent are flying. Eight percent of travelers is no small number, however. If you're among those 3.4 million taking to the skies, you've probably already booked, but if you haven't, you've already kissed off affordable rates. This week's Thanksgiving flights are 16 percent more expensive than last, and 19 percent higher when compared to 2010. (All percentages rounded to nearest whole number.)

Christmas fares, on the other hand, are still relatively affordable. Though a good chunk of the Christmas flights rose since last week (42 percent), they only did so by about 4 percent. Don't delay nailing down a flight though, prices are only due to steadily climb.

If you've been especially nice this year, meet Santa at the beach. Because everyone's heading to their hometown, my research shows that the warm-weather destinations are the most affordable of the Christmas routes I'm tracking. Routes to Ft. Lauderdale, Honolulu, Maui, and San Juan are either considerably less than, or on par with, last year's fares.

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