Thanksgiving is less than a month away. But if you’re planning on flying out of town this year, be prepared to fork up a nice chunk of change for your plane ticket. Despite a drop in jet fuel prices, round-trip airfare costs have risen 17 percent when compared to prices during this time, last year.
According to Peter Greenberg, the travel editor at CBS News, the average fare now roughly rounds out to around $467. And to make matters worse, there’s no benefit in waiting to buy your ticket; prices are going up at about a rate of $5 per day.
“Airfares are going up. And especially over the holiday season, we find the airfares topping out over what you would ever want to pay,” said Nora Blum from Travel Leaders.
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid the steep prices, but you may have to sacrifice some quality time with your loved ones in the process.
“The only way you might save a little bit is if you are willing to travel on Thanksgiving Day. Leave early that morning. Or come back on Friday, rather than trying to spend the whole weekend with your friends and family.”
But for many, that isn’t a plausible option. Instead, some people are opting to modify their travel plans in order to avoid flying during the busiest dates – maybe a week before or after Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“Thanksgiving travel is hard. People who are planning for it every year, know to book this in the springtime. They know they are going and they are the ones who get the best deals, “ Blum said.
The reason for these fare hikes has to do with less competition between airlines. Each year, fewer and fewer flights are available to cater to the needs of every traveler. It’s rare to ever come across an empty seat.
For frequent flier, Ramath Subramaniam, he’s simply accepted this fact.
“It is frustrating. And what is even more frustrating is the change in the prices from day to day to day. You look today at 12 p.m. it’s one price, 10 minutes later it’s a different price, often different by $100 or more.”
“Usually prices are what they are. And if you take a vacation, you take a vacation,” Subramaniam said.