NORWALK, Conn., September 26, 2014 . . . Priceline.com, a leader in online and mobile travel and part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), advises those still looking for the best deals on airfare for Thanksgiving and Christmas to book before late October. With flight and seat reductions over the past few years creating more competition for available seats over the holidays, booking sooner than later is key. To help consumers narrow down the best deals, priceline.com has compiled the best days to fly for the most attractive airfares this upcoming holiday season.
Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 27 this year. Travelers booking now will find the best fares if they depart on Nov. 20, 21, 24, 25 and 27; and return home on Nov. 27 or 28, or wait until Dec. 2. Travelers will pay higher fares if they depart on Nov. 22, 23, and 26; and return any day between Nov. 29 and Dec. 1.
“Right now, there’s a broad range in fares, depending on factors like how far before or after the holidays consumers are willing to fly, whether they’re willing to fly on a holiday, and if they’re comfortable flying early bird or night owl flights,” said priceline.com Travel Editor Brian Ek. “For example, we’re seeing some Thanksgiving fares booked as low as $257, and as high as $469. For Christmas travel, rates are going around $344 to as high as $581.”
Good news for consumers – rates for the 2014 holiday travel season compared to last year have not risen, but are trending equal to last year, based on recent advance bookings made on priceline.com. Currently, the national average for Thanksgiving domestic airfares booked on priceline.com in September is $420, compared to $421 last year. The national average for Christmas domestic airfares booked on priceline.com in September is $480, versus $487 during the same period last year.
Ek also shares additional tips to find cheaper airfare and keep those travel costs down at the airport.
- Pick times of the day that are normally less busy. Keep in mind the time of day that you’ll be flying. Travelers will find the most affordable seats departing early in the morning (5 to 7 a.m.) or late evening (after 8 p.m.). Mid-day (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) is a bit more expensive, but still reasonable. Most expensive are the peak business travel hours (8 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.).
- Try priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price® and Express Deals® airline tickets service. Travelers can save up to 40 percent on flights with Name Your Own Price® by simply entering details of their travel – desired dates, airport and other information – and then enter to bid on their travel. Priceline.com also currently offers exclusive Mobile Air Express Deals® on the iPhone, iPad and Android apps. Time-constrained, price conscious travelers can compare flights to find low-priced options available without having to bid, for up to 20 percent additional savings.
- Send those presents on ahead. Gifts for loved ones can mean extra baggage fees, not to mention the security screeners will not be happy to see those wrapped boxes. Save yourself the hassle by mailing or shipping presents in advance (after you’ve wrapped them, of course).
- Weigh and measure your baggage. Check your airline’s maximum requirements for checked and carry-on bags to make sure you won’t incur extra fees. Note: baggage fees are charged separately for your outbound and return flights.
To score the best travel deals this holiday season, visit www.priceline.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on the priceline.com brand, please visit www.priceline.com/media.
Priceline.com, part of The Priceline Group [NASDAQ: PCLN], gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com’s famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available, or the recently added Express Deals®, where travelers can take advantage of hotel discounts without bidding.