THANKSGIVING AIR TRAVEL TRENDS

Popular travel days and pricing trends for Thanksgiving week

Popular Travel Days

  • Flying on Monday is the best option for travelers to arrive at their destinations before Thanksgiving. It has the lowest average ticket price ($486) prior to the holiday, and is a lighter travel day than later in the week.
  • The Sunday prior to the holiday has the highest average price per ticket ($564), but it is consistently the lightest travel day.
  • Tuesday ($521) and Wednesday ($527) are pricey and the heaviest air travel days.
  • Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, has the lowest average price per ticket ($454).

Advanced Booking Price Trends

  • Best Bookings. Most travelers book between 28-60 days prior to Thanksgiving week and get a good price ($491 on average). For 2019, that means booking between September 25 and October 27.
  • Practical Planners. Travelers who book between 61 and 180 days prior to Thanksgiving—May 28 through September 24, 2019—have a better chance of securing their preferred travel dates, and will therefore pay slightly more (around $522).
  • Last Minute Travelers. Procrastinating travelers can find some of the best pricing ($482 on average) 7-13 days before the holiday, November 11-17 this year. However, limited availability could affect the preferred days a traveler might want.

CHRISTMAS AIR TRAVEL TRENDS

Popular travel days and pricing trends for Christmas

Popular Travel Days

  • Travelers typically depart 2-4 days prior to the holiday. These travelers, on average, pay ticket prices of $593 on December 21, $639 on December 22, and $603 on December 23.
  • Christmas Eve is the best day to travel. It consistently has the lowest average price per ticket ($527) and is the lightest travel day of the week.
  • December 26 has the highest average ticket price of the week at $692.
  • December 22 is the busiest air travel day around Christmas, and those travelers pay the second highest average ticket price of the week, $639.

Advanced Booking Price Trends

  • Good Buys. Most travelers book between 28 and 60 days prior to Christmas —between October 26 and November 27 — and still get a relatively good price ($561 on average).
  • Practical Planners. Travelers booking between 121 days (August 26) and one year prior to the holiday can ensure their tickets, but will pay more (between $616 and $659 on average).
  • Best bookings. 61-90 days prior to the holiday (between September 26 and October 25) seems to be the ‘sweet spot’ with prices lower on average ($551) than further advanced bookings.
  • Last Minute Travelers. Last-minute travelers get the overall best pricing ($488 on average) at 7-13 days, but availability is likely limited.
*December 19-26 analyzed, regardless of what day of the week is Christmas.