In Shift From ’08, Holiday Airfare Is Soaring Daily
Last year, procrastinators were rewarded when they finally got around to booking flights for holiday travel. Back then, airlines were not prepared for the sharp falloff in travel and offered last-minute deals to fill up empty planes.
This year? Dilly-dallying, even waiting just a few days, could carry a steep price. Fares, though still lower now than at this time last year, are rising each day, a trajectory that began more than a month ago.
In the last week alone, overall fares for Thanksgiving travel rose 6 percent, according to Bing Travel, part of Microsoft’s search engine. Ticket prices for the most popular itinerary, departing Wednesday, Nov. 25, and returning Sunday, Nov. 29, are up 10 percent in the last week.
The professional crystal-ball gazers on fares agree that fliers should not wait to book their tickets.
“Travelers should be shopping now,” said Joel Grus, who tracks airfares at Bing Travel. “If a price seems good to them, they should get it.”
Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, wrote in his online Holiday Travel Guide, “Holiday travel procrastinators do so at their own peril this year, and practical travelers should be shopping now and buying before the end of October.”