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Airfarewatchdog Says ‘Don’t Panic’ About High Holiday Airfares

Advises Travelers to Check Fares Daily — Bargains Can Be Had

BOSTON, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ — Airfarewatchdog, the most inclu­sive source of air­fare deals, researched and ver­i­fied by experts, today urged trav­el­ers to not panic about media reports claim­ing that expen­sive air­fares will be com­mon­place dur­ing peak hol­i­day travel this year. The site’s founder, George Hobica, notes, “Some routes, espe­cially those served by a large num­ber of air­lines, have expe­ri­enced wide fluc­tu­a­tions in price, and not just in the up direction.”

Airfarewatchdog found fares from Newark to San Francisco, depart­ing the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and return­ing the Sunday after, for over $600 round-trip includ­ing taxes. Two days later, seats could be had for $389 round-trip with taxes and two days after that, fares had begun to climb again.

To find a hol­i­day air­fare bar­gain, Hobica also sug­gests that travelers:

  • Check fares every day, sev­eral times a day, and when trav­el­ers see a fare they can afford or con­sider rea­son­able — grab it.
  • Don’t hes­i­tate to book a fare if they find a peak hol­i­day air­fare for long haul routes under $400 round-trip with tax, or under $300 on shorter haul routes.
  • Fly air­lines that give full “fare drop” refunds. Three airlines–Southwest, JetBlue, and Alaska–will refund the dif­fer­ence in full if a fare goes down between the time they buy and the time they fly. Refunds are in the form of a credit good for future travel; other air­lines offer refunds, but deduct $100 to $150 from any money due, often wip­ing out any savings.
  • Check air­line sites directly, since air­lines don’t always share their entire seat inven­tory with third party search and aggre­ga­tor sites.

Hobica adds, “Some reports have hol­i­day travel going down 20 per­cent from last year, and if that hap­pens, air­lines may find them­selves with empty seats just before the hol­i­days. The air­lines are hold­ing out for the high­est prices they can get, but last year they low­ered fares a cou­ple of weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas, and although air­fare trends are impos­si­ble to pre­dict accu­rately, we wouldn’t be shocked to see this hap­pen again this year. The moral of the story is that fares, like stocks, never go in just one direc­tion. We’re advis­ing con­sumers not to give up hope if they see an air­fare that seems beyond their reach.“

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