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Want to Book Holiday Flights? Experts Say Buy in Mid-October

Flyers looking to score deals for the 2022 holiday season may want to book their travel before the month of October ends.
Time may be running out for flyers to purchase airfare to make it home for Thanksgiving or Christmas 2022.


According to the latest data from flight booking app Hopper, the best time to book holiday flights could be the middle of October, before fares increase.


Low Demand and Specials Drive Reduced Holiday Pricing

According to search data from the fare aggregator, the middle weeks of October might be the last chance for flyers to get a good rate on holiday flights. Domestic travel for Thanksgiving week is trending at an average of $290, while flights for the Christmas holiday are averaging around $430.


Why is airfare this low? Data scientists for the company say mid-October provides the best climate for discount holiday pricing. Between the fact that flights are not fully booked, combined with lower demand on popular routes, airlines may be offering reduced pricing for cross-country flights.


“Demand for holiday flights is still relatively low in mid-October, meaning airlines have lowered prices and deals and promotions are available on many top routes,” Hopper analyst Hayley Berg writes on the blog. “Searches and bookings for holiday flights will begin to surge in late October and prices will begin to spike.”


What are the penalties for not booking holiday flights sooner rather than later? Hopper says Thanksgiving flights could go up to $450 or more for last minute tickets, while Christmas tickets could spike at over $580 for procrastinating passengers.


“We recommend travelers book in the next 2 weeks to ensure they can take advantage of low prices and more options for bookable flights,” writes Berg. “As the holidays approach, flights will book full, driving up airfare and reducing options for travelers.”


Holiday Travel Interest Rises as Government Seeks More Passenger Protections

The news on airfares comes as the White House seeks to offer flyers more consumer protections in a year of record flight cancellations. The latest new rule proposal would require airlines to abide by new airfare transparency rules and disclose pricing of a fare and upgrades at the beginning of the shopping process.