Book Your Flights for Christmas Now

Patrick Surry - Jan. 31, 2016

Summary

  • It's not too early to book your holiday travel. We found that prices begin to rise faster for Christmas travel than Thanksgiving travel.
  • Don’t procrastinate! Last year, 59% of people waited until the last 4 weeks to search for Christmas airfare. In order to get the best deal, book now!
  • Based on last year’s data, prices start to rise about 60 days ahead, and begin to rise steeply about three weeks ahead of Christmas.
  • The cheapest day to fly is Christmas Day, followed by Christmas Eve. The most expensive day to travel is the Sunday before Christmas.

When To Buy

If you haven’t booked your Christmas travel arrangements yet, go book your flights now! Hopper’s data science team analyzed billions of flight prices from 2013 and 2014 to help travelers make better decisions about the busiest travel season.

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Unlike Thanksgiving where flight prices are constant until 10 days before departure, flight prices for Christmas start rising a lot faster. Prices start to rise about 60 days ahead of Christmas. Prices begin to rise steeply about three weeks ahead of Christmas.

Last year, 59% of people waited until the last 4 weeks to search for Christmas airfare. Don’t fall into this trap this year. If you book during that 4 week window, you can expect to pay significantly more.

The good new is that flight prices are slightly less than last year. Flight prices are currently 2% less expensive than 2013 prices.

When To Fly

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The cheapest day to fly is Christmas Day, followed by Christmas Eve, and the most expensive day is the Sunday before Christmas.

Three of this year’s most popular destinations are in Florida (#1 Orlando, #6 Fort Lauderdale, #10 Miami) and like last year, the New York area also takes up three of the top 10.  Vegas and LA dip slightly from last year, and Denver enters the top 10.

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Methodology

The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes billions of trips per day.  Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market.

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