|You will be pleased to hear, those same ‘experts’ are now predicting the fares will remain low, even into the holiday season. According to Carol Pucci, Seattle Times travel writer, “With Labor Day signaling the end of the summer travel season, fliers between now and the Christmas holidays will notice changes as the airlines struggle to fill seats and boost revenues.” The good news is, fares will be lower than last year; the bad news is the airlines are continuing to cut capacity.
First, the good news. According to Microsoft’s Bing Travel, Thanksgiving fares are averaging 22% less than last year, and 17% less for Christmas and New Year’s. So now’s the time to make your holiday plans.
The bad news is that airlines continue to cut capacity either by eliminating flights or using smaller planes the result will be less-convenient routes and fewer nonstop flights. One trade group estimates that “domestic departures… will drop 33 percent between October and December, compared to last year.” With airlines jockeying their schedules, those that book too early risk the flight being cancelled. The airlines are usually pretty good at arranging another flight for you usually at little or no cost, but it may not be the one you want, or the nonstop you planned.
According to Pucci, capacity cuts usually mean airlines can raise fares. But, with the drop in business travel, the bottom line is they have to keep those planes packed with leisure travelers, and the only way to do that is to discount because business travel isn’t going to bounce back as fast.
One expert recommends shopping within a three-month window of when you plan to travel, and not booking too far ahead, and says, “Nobody should even be looking past January. Any trip after that, you should be waiting.”
So there you have it. I’ve said it before it’s a jungle out there. Airline travel isn’t what it used to be. But it helps to have a little ‘heads up’ from the experts.
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Catch the wind…
Taste the rain…
And touch all of your tomorrows…