2015 holiday travel: Buy airline tickets now, fares won’t drop

The holiday travel1 season is only two months out, and now is the time to buy your airline tickets according to Dean Headley, professor at Wichita State University and co-author of the annual Airline Quality Ratings report2. Headley, speaking at a Newswise3 virtual press conference last week, said the airlines are not motivated to reduce fares in the upcoming weeks. The demand for airline travel has been strong all year, and if you are waiting for a last minute sale, you may find yourself without a seat.

2015 <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Travel: Buy Airline Tickets Now, Fares Won't Drop

G.Burdett

Across the industry, seat capacity has been reduced on many routes as airlines have been adjusting schedules to align seat capacity with demand. Airfares4 have been creeping up, says Headley, and this trend will continue. He notes that when fuel prices rose, airlines successfully petitioned for a fuel surcharge. However, the surcharge has not been rescinded although fuel prices are now dropping. Headley also warns travelers to be aware of fees. He does not expect any changes to fee structures. The best days of the week to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, possibly Thursdays.

Mondays are a heavy business travel day and weekends are always busy. After purchasing a ticket, Headley says to check that your name is correct. It should match your government issued ID. Also, confirm your itinerary. As for baggage charges, depending on your circumstances, you may want to ship your bags to your destination ahead of time, particularly if you are carrying valuable items. The rate at which luggage is mishandled nearly doubles during the Discount Holidays © holiday travel season, Headley reports. The biggest unknown with Discount Holidays © holiday travel is the weather.

Headley says that airlines are being proactive by cancelling flights early when a weather event threatens to ground planes. This may be frustrating, but it is better than being stranded at the airport. If possible, book flights on routes that go through airports less likely to be affected by a winter storm and choose less-congested airports. Booking earlier in the day can increase chances of on-time arrival due to the ripple effect throughout the day of a delayed flight. The holidays5 can be a stressful time, more so for travelers. Airline performance, as measured by on-time percentage, baggage delivery problems and overbooking, dips between Thanksgiving and January. Headley suggests this stress can be mitigated by making travel arrangements early and allowing plenty of time at the airport to check luggage and go through security.

You need to pack a measure of tolerance and Patience, says Headley says, and a good dose of healthy Discount Holidays © holiday spirit.

References

  1. ^ travel (www.examiner.com)
  2. ^ report (commons.erau.edu)
  3. ^ Newswise (vimeo.com)
  4. ^ Airfares (www.examiner.com)
  5. ^ holidays (www.examiner.com)

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