These tips help find cheapest airfares for Thanksgiving travel
Forget the turkey, the stuffing, and the football. Thanksgiving these days means long lines and headaches.
But if you play your cards right, holiday travel doesn’t have to be a drag. FOX31 spoke with Kendal Perez, a savings expert with locally-based FreeShipping.org to get some tips on how to find the best holiday fares.
“The sooner that you book, the better,” Perez said. “Make sure that taxes and other fees are included in that charge that you see, and also make sure that you are incorporating those baggage fees if you are going to be checking a bag.”
For the socially savvy – make sure you’re connecting with airlines on Facebook and Twitter.
“Airlines are offering discounts or specials via social media, so if you ‘like’ their page or follow them on Twitter they’re going to be offering some exclusive deals or just give you a heads up about price drops,” Perez said.
Being flexible can pay off. Many websites offer fare calendars where you can see which day of the week you can get the cheapest ticket. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the most expensive.
Another way to save money is to book with different airlines for your departure and return.
“I researched a flight from Denver to New York over the Thanksgiving week and the flight was about $320 when I departed on United and came back on Frontier,” Perez said. “That’s compared to $550 if I did a roundtrip flight on United only.”
Believe it or not, Perez says there is a specific day of the week you should book flights in order to get the best deal.
“It’s not an exact science, but experts in the travel industry agree that airfares are released at their lowest Monday and Tuesday, making Tuesday afternoon an ideal time to look at and book flights.”
And don’t count out traveling on Thanksgiving Day. The fares are generally lower and the airports less crowded. This traveler saved big on tickets to Ft. Lauderdale.
“At least a couple hundred dollars a ticket and there’s four of us,” said John Wells. “We’ll still be in Florida by 2:00 p.m.”
Another word of advice – think twice about booking on sites like Orbitz or Hotwire. Perez said you can usually get the same fares you see advertised there through the actual airline and if something goes wrong during your trip, you’ll then be able to deal directly with the airline, rather than with that third party.