Priceline.com says airfares holding steady as holidays approach

Priceline.com says airfares holding steady as holidays approach

A potential run-up in average airfares for the Thanksgiving and winter holidays has yet to materialize, according to priceline.com, bringing good news to travelers who haven’t secured their holiday tickets.

“After several major airlines announced 2% to 5% flight reductions for 4th quarter 2011, airfare watchers were looking to see what effect that might have on holiday airfares,” said priceline.com’s Travel Ekspert, Brian Ek.  “Airfares are up over last year, but only modestly.  So there’s still time to find affordable flights home for the holidays.”

At the beginning of October, priceline.com reported that the national average for Thanksgiving airfares was $400, or 4% higher than 2010.  Over the past four weeks, the average fare for Thanksgiving has risen slightly to $407, which is 6% higher than fares for the same period last year.

For winter holiday and Christmas travelers, the news is even better.  In early October, the average winter holiday airfare was $475, or 1% higher than 2010.  Over the past four weeks, the average winter holiday airfare has dropped to $451, which is still 3% higher than last year.  Priceline.com also said that customers can use its Name Your Own PriceĀ® airline ticketing service to save even more compared to published fares.

Airfares, hotel room and rental car rates for the holidays are highly dynamic and subject to change.  To help travelers get the best available travel deals, priceline.com has created a web page http://pcln.com/bestdays  .  The page contains an interactive and frequently updated Best Days To Fly calendar and hotel deals from around the country.

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According to Priceline’s Best Days To Fly Calendar for the holidays:
The most affordable days to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday are November 19, 20, 21, 22, 24 (Thanksgiving Day), 25, 29 and 30.

The most affordable days to fly over the Christmas holiday are December 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28 and 31.