The best time to book holiday travel begins this week

Posted at 8:07 PM, Sep 23, 2019

Planning on flying around Thanksgiving or Christmas? According to data from AAA, the time to book a flight could be in the coming days or weeks.

According to AAA, Sept. 25 is when travelers should expect the price for air travel to begin to drop for both Thanksgiving and Christmas based on data from the past three years.

“Holiday travelers should make their plans now and begin booking their flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas as early as Wednesday, Sept. 25 for the best deals and availability,” said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel. “Procrastinating travelers may be able to find last-minute deals on flights close to the holidays, as airlines look to fill their last few remaining seats, but flight availability for these peak travel weeks will be very limited by that time.”

The data shows that the time frame between 28 and 60 days is when consumers can find more affordable prices and plenty of options for Thanksgiving. While prices remain affordable until within a week of Thanksgiving, travelers will find fewer options.

The Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week also are more expensive travel days compared to Thanksgiving itself.

For Christmas week, the period between 2 to 3 months out is a time of when flights are more affordable and have more options. Many travelers book between 30 and 60 days out from Christmas week, meaning those planning on flying for Christmas should consider booking before Thanksgiving.

“Last year, AAA projected that 54.3 million Americans would travel over the Thanksgiving holiday and a record-breaking 112.5 million during the longer year-end holiday season,” Twidale said. “If those trends hold again this year, travelers are in for crowded airports and, possibly, longer wait times. Pack your patience and plan ahead, giving yourself plenty of time at the airport to maintain that holiday cheer.”