Holiday travel season is approaching faster than the jets you’re purchasing tickets from, and according to the experts, the best time to buy Christmas flights is already here.
Adam Goldstein, the CEO and co-founder of Hipmunk, told 7 Action News that the best week to purchase flights begins today (Oct. 15th). The best time to purchase Thanksgiving flights? That’s already passed, of course, there’s still plenty of strategies you can still utilize to get the best fare.
“The most consistent thing that we found, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, is that flying on the holiday save you on average 20 percent or more as compared to flying on the peak day,” said Goldstein.
The peak day for Christmas is generally the Friday before Christmas. On average flying on the Holiday can save you a hair under $100/ticket. The savings can be much larger for some folks depending on the circumstance.
One thing he notes you should watch out for is “basic economy” flights. More and more airlines are introducing that terminology. In a nutshell that means you’ll pay less for the ticket up front, but you aren’t getting free bags, a snack during the flight and you may get less leg room.
When you start adding the fees in you may end up paying more than you would have for a “normal” flight. Goldstein said they’ve reconfigured their website to showcase to users which flights have “add-ons” but said not all have done so.
“All I would say is that anyone who’s looking at airfares, double-check that you’re getting a flight that has what you want in it, because if you don’t look carefully you may spend more at the end of it.”
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SAVE CASH
- Set a fare alert: Using a site like Hipmunk allows you to know the best time to book beyond a date, like we’ve provided above. If you set a “fare alert” you’re able to put in the exact travel destination you have in mind and an automated computer will crunch the numbers and send you updates online.
- Shop airports: Plenty of people won’t buy an item before checking the price at several stores, but few shop around when it comes to airports. That counts for flying to, and from, a location. If you’re flying out of Detroit there’s a chance you can find the same flight for a different price from Flint or Toledo. Some flights are more expensive, others are cheaper, there are a variety of factors that come into play so it’s worth checking out other airports too.
- Watch for basic economy flights: We warned about basic economy flights earlier, but if you have multiple people flying you might be able to save on a single ticket! Shop smart… just make sure you read the fine print!