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There Is Still Time to Save on Last-Minute Holiday Airfare, but Not Much — Dollars and Sense

There is still time to find a few holiday travel deals before Thanksgiving weekend. However, with last-minute flights costing as much as $200 more than those booked in advance, it’s hard to say just how good those deals will be.

Industry experts say that round-trip domestic flights for prime-time holiday travel (November 17-27) cost an average of $386 this year, up 9 percent from 2011. Unfortunately, with more airlines reducing the number of flights offered, chances are prices will only get higher, especially during the holidays.

However, those people who have a bit of flexibility in their travel schedule may be able to save as much as $288 on airfare. People traveling on days other than the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the following Sunday and Monday, will get the better deals, according to Travelocity senior editor Courtney Scott.

Another way to save when traveling during the holidays is to search for flights in alternative airports outside major cities. For example, if you’re flying out of Washington, check with Baltimore’s BWI airport first. Also, pack light and don’t get slapped with baggage fees, as the extra $25-$50 can really cramp your travel budget.

Still trying to decide whether to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Industry experts say flights this Thanksgiving will be somewhat cheaper than those between Christmas and New Year’s.


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