Christmas in July

‘Tis the season! Now is the best time to start planning holiday travel.

Hayley Berg - Jul. 25, 2019

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve may be months away, but now is the best time to start planning your holiday travel! 

  • Think it’s too early to start tracking your flights home for the holidays? Think again. Prices for domestic travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas will change on average 147 and 107 times, respectively, between now and the holidays. 

  • Last year, Hopper users who started watching their Thanksgiving and Christmas flights in July and early August saved 6X more on their flights home for the holidays than users who waited to start tracking.

  • Hopper users who watched holiday flights last year saved an average of $45 per ticket on domestic round trip flights for Thanksgiving, and an average of $70 per ticket for Christmas. 


Planning Ahead for the Holidays

With Christmas exactly 5 months from today, now is the optimal time to start tracking flights home for the holidays to get the best deal. Prices will change on average 147 times between now and Thanksgiving, and 107 times between now and Christmas.

The secret to getting the best deal is simple: set up a watch and let Hopper notify you when the price is right.

ChristmasinJulyGraph-1

Will the Boeing 737 Max groundings Impact Holiday Travel?

Airlines with grounded 737 Max planes have worked to manage capacity this summer by shifting capacity to ensure coverage of high demand routes by reducing/suspending daily service on lower demand routes. The highest demand routes which have been most protected during this summer are typically routes from large hubs to large hubs, routes like New York to Los Angeles or Chicago to Atlanta. Lower demand routes experiencing cancellations and service suspensions are more likely to be routes to and from smaller airport hubs that see lower daily demand. In the short term, this reallocation of capacity has worked relatively successfully, as summer travel demand is typically concentrated around high demand routes from large hub to large hub. 

During peak holiday seasons, however, there is more demand for travel from larger hub airports to smaller, local airports as travelers head home for the holidays. It’s possible that travelers planning trips at Thanksgiving and Christmas will have more difficulty finding a great deal on flights home for the holidays if there is less capacity and less carrier competition on their particular route. 

How to Save

Hopper users who started watching their Thanksgiving and Christmas flights in July and early August saved 6X more on their flights home for the holidays than users who waited.

ChristmasinJulyGraph-2

Hopper users who watched holiday flights last year saved an average of $45 on domestic round trip flights for Thanksgiving, and an average of $70 for Christmas. Those travelers spending their holidays out of the country saved an average of $74 on flights over Thanksgiving, and $142 for flights over Christmas.

ChristmasinJulyGraph-3ChristmasinJulyAvg Savings DomesticChristmasinJulyAvg Savings International

Methodology

The data utilized for this study comes from Hopper's real-time "shadow traffic" containing the results of consumer airfare searches. Hopper collects, from several Global Distribution System partners, 25 to 30 billion airfare price quotes every day from searches happening all across the web. Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases. Good deal prices are represented by the 10th percentile prices which represents what a leisure traveler should expect to pay for a good deal on an economy class ticket.

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