Many air travelers, like Savione Chambers, are feeling the price pinch.
“I used to go home and see my family every other weekend. But now I have to plan it out months ahead,” she said.
In fact, if you didn’t book Thanksgiving flights a few months ago, you might pay for it. An I-Team producer recently bought a round trip ticket from LAX to Chicago - it cost $1,000, way out of most budgets.
Scott Keyes with Scott’s Cheap Flights isn’t surprised. He says the best prices for Thanksgiving travel are typically late spring or early summer.
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“In the same way that you see swimsuits cheapest to purchase in the winter, and coats cheapest to purchase in the summer, same with those peak season holiday flights,” he said.
Keyes says fares are volatile now, but they could drop.
His advice: if you book a pricey flight, keep your eye on it and see if the fare drops. Now that most airlines have done away with change fees, you can rebook the cheaper flight and pocket the difference as a travel credit for a future flight.
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“And if it drops even further, you can keep rebooking and keep repocketing the difference,” said Keyes.
And if those high fares are scaring you off, don’t wait too long. Keyes says to mark your calendar to buy them by one specific date.
“If there’s a fare I’m watching, it’s staying high, I’m setting 21 days as my deadline, because on day 20 before your flight, chances are that fare is going to get even more expensive,” said Keyes.
If domestic flights are just too much to pay, and you’re up for an adventure, Keyes says Thanksgiving week is the hidden gem for international travel. Sure enough, when the I-Team checked, a roundtrip flight from LAX to Paris is even cheaper than that flight to Chicago.
“If you’ve got family who might be disappointed and miss you, invite them along, because it’s when you’re going to find some of the best value airfares for the entire year,” said Keyes.