• Now's the time to buy on holiday airline tickets

    2010-09-20

    The holidays may not be for a few months, but multiple travel companies are advising travelers to begin booking their trips now if they want the best rates, as fares are expected to skyrocket as the winter months get closer.

    According to CNN, airfare for this year is expected to be higher than the previous year as more travelers take to the skies. Tom Parsons of bestfares.com told the news source that the rates will be 20 to 30 percent higher, which falls in line with other analysts' predictions.

    Bill McGee of Consumer Reports told WBIR Knoxville that "you can expect to pay more than last year. And therefore the number of seats that are going to be available at a lower price is a finite number and you really want to start booking earlier than you have in the past."

    In addition to higher passenger totals and lowered airline capacity, the calendar isn't cooperating this year either. Both Christmas and New Year's fall on a Saturday, which means one fewer weekend for peak travel time. Most passengers will be squeezed into a 14-day window that is usually 16 or 17 days, according to CNN.

    However, travelers can keep fares down if they shop around. While most of these days will incur "peak travel" charges, it is typically cheaper to fly in the middle of the week - or on the day of the actual holiday, which are actually slow travel days compared to the days around them.

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