MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – You may be all set for Halloween this week, but what about Thanksgiving?
It’s just one month away.
If you’re planning on flying out of town to see relatives, get ready to dig deep to pay for that plane ticket.
Travel experts say round-trip airfare is up 17 percent over last year at this time, even though jet fuel prices have dropped.
The average roundtrip ticket is about $467, according to Peter Greenberg, the travel editor at CBS News.
He also says there is no benefit to waiting to buy your ticket.
The price is going up about $5 a day for each day you wait.
WCCO’s Angela Davis talked with a travel agent Wednesday who agreed with what other industry analysts are saying; if you are willing to fly on Thanksgiving Day and return home on Black Friday, you will save some money.
“Airfares are going up. And especially over the holiday season we find the airfares topping out over what you would ever want to pay,” Nora Blum from Travel Leaders said.
But, the agents at Travel Leaders say if you are willing to sacrifice some of that quality time with all those family members, there is an option that could knock down the cost of your ticket.
“The only way you might save a little bit is if you are willing to travel on Thanksgiving Day. Leave early that morning. Or come back on Friday, rather than trying to spend the whole weekend with your friends and family,” Blum said.
The reason behind higher airfare has to do with less competition between airlines. There are fewer of them and fewer flights compared to a decade ago.
Seldom do you see an empty seat.
“It is frustrating. And what is even more frustrating is the change in the prices from day to day to day. You look today at 12 p.m. it’s one price, 10 minutes later it’s a different price, often different by $100 or more,” frequent traveler Ramath Subramaniam said.
Subramaniam is a frequent flier.
He’s simply accepted the fact that air travel is expensive.
“Usually prices are what they are. And if you take a vacation, you take a vacation,” Subramaniam said.
“Thanksgiving travel is hard. People who are planning for it every year, know to book this in the springtime. They know they are going and they are the ones who get the best deals,” Blum said.
Travel agents told WCCO that some people are choosing to modify their family plans so that they are not flying during the busiest, most expensive dates.
They get together a week before or after Thanksgiving or Christmas.