Bah Humbug 2010: Cost of Christmas Travel
Going home for the holidays? Get your tickets now.
Word on the street amongst travel agents is that there won’t be a fare war in 2010 for Christmas. The airlines are in hype-cost-cutting mode and giving few deals.
Fares vary depending on where you want to travel, so you should check multiple dates to see your cheapest days to travel. This year, many people have a smaller travel window because most schools resume classes Jan. 3. Because of this, travel is expensive to most U.S. destinations on the first Sunday after Christmas (Dec. 26) and the first Sunday after New Year’s (Jan. 2). These are very popular dates, and you will pay a premium to fly on them.
For most U.S. destinations, the cheapest fares were available for departing Dec. 21 or 22 and returning Dec. 28. Some also have seen cheap fares leaving Christmas Day and returning New Year’s Day, except to Florida.
Fares for Dec. 21-28 that are less than $300 are pretty good prices for travel to Florida.
If you’re traveling to the West Coast, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 are among the cheaper days to travel.
Many people who will travel to Europe want to be with family on Christmas Day, so they plan to leave Tuesday (Dec. 21), Wednesday (Dec. 22) or Thursday (Dec. 23), and fares on those days are higher because of demand. For example, when we checked prices for a one-week stay, round-trip fares from Dallas to Frankfurt were $888 departing Dec. 21-23, $830 departing Dec. 24-25 and $775 departing after Christmas.
We haven’t seen many sales that have extended enough to cover Christmas flights. The few we have seen that have covered travel through January were sold out of sale seats during the Christmas break.