Book Holiday Flights by Halloween to Avoid the Scariest Prices

A new airfare analysis from Hipmunk reveals that Americans planning to travel during the 2017 November and December holidays should book their flights before Halloween to lock in the lowest prices.

Those looking for a truly “screaming” deal should book on the week of September 25 to maximize savings.

These are just a few of the findings from Hipmunk’s analysis, which examined historical prices for flights on and around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to determine when travelers can get the best deal.

Early-bird buyers can save up to 27 percent on Thanksgiving and 38 percent on Christmas flights.

Those who waited a month, though, were still able to great deals: travelers purchasing airfare the week of October 30 still saved up to 24 percent on Thanksgiving flights, and up to 31 percent on Christmas flights.

“Flight prices for holiday travel tend to fluctuate through September and October, so it’s best to set a fare alert—like one available through Hipmunk—so that you are notified when prices change,” said Adam Goldstein, Hipmunk’s Co-founder and CEO. “So long as you book before Halloween, you’ll usually avoid the highest prices.”

This should come as a sigh of relief to most travelers: Hipmunk’s analysis found 64 percent of all Thanksgiving flights and 84 percent of all Christmas flights were not booked until the start of October.

Travelers that are spooked by crowds should fly on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, historically when the fewest flights are booked. They should also steer clear of the Tuesday before Thanksgiving or December 22 and 23, when crowds peak.

For more holiday travel statistics, including an infographic that displays the weekly average savings for advance ticket purchases, visit the Hipmunk blog here.

Thanksgiving Methodology: Hipmunk analyzed the median historical round-trip booking prices for US flights departing Nov 20, 2016Nov 24, 2016 and returning Nov 25, 2016Nov 27, 2016.      

Christmas Methodology: Hipmunk analyzed the median historical round-trip booking prices for US flights departing Dec 22, 2016Dec 25, 2016 and returning Dec 26, 2016Dec 28, 2016.