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This could be the last week to score a good deal on holiday airfares

October 10, 2022, 3:43 PM UTC
Travelers at baggage claim
Holiday travel is about to get a lot more expensive.
Getty Images

If you’re thinking about flying home for the holidays, you might have just over a week before prices begin to surge.

A new study from travel booking app Hopper finds that holiday airfares have dropped a bit in the past few weeks, but they’re expected to jump considerably as we move into late October.

“This holiday season is shaping up to be an expensive one—with Christmas airfares up higher than in the past five years and Thanksgiving prices expected to peak well over $450 at the last minute,” the company said in a statement. “Mid-October is the sweet spot for getting great holiday deals.”

At present, says Hopper, Thanksgiving airfares are averaging $290 per ticket, which is about the same as the 2019 price point, but 24% higher than last year. Starting at the end of October, though, prices will increase an average of $10 a day, the travel service says.

People hoping to fly home for the Christmas time frame are already paying $430 this week, 17% more than 2019 and 53% more than last year. Prices are expected to increase slowly in the coming weeks but will begin to climb $10 a day or more starting in mid-November. As the holidays near, the average last-minute ticket is forecast to cost $580.

This all comes as major airlines have cut their flight schedules in November and December, which could make a period that is already incredibly hectic at airports even more chaotic. Thanksgiving and the end of December are the busiest travel periods of the year. In 2019, the Transportation Security Administration logged 2.6 million people passing through security checkpoints on the day before Thanksgiving and 1.7 million on Christmas Eve last year (and 2.5 million in 2019).

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