Christmas and New Year are two of the busiest holidays. Families go on vacation and students come home from their studies abroad. That’s why the ASAP Tickets analytics elves have been busy collecting data to give you some important guidance on how to find the cheapest Christmas fare for 2016.
How Travel Changes During Christmas
- Christmas and New Year are peak holidays
- Flights will always be more expensive than other flights – it doesn’t matter how early you book, they will always cost more
- Cheapest holiday fares sell out fast – months in advance
- Flight prices change every minute
- A lot of people are traveling – you need to get to the airport earlier than usual
- During Christmas, airlines offer special holiday meals on the plane and flight attendants might even surprise you with complimentary gifts, like a glass of champagne, special holiday kits for kids, surprise Santa visits, and so on.
Why Book Christmas Flights Now?
Flights around Christmas and New Year are quite expensive. According to ASAP Tickets experts, Holiday fares continue to rise until one week after the New Year.
How much do last-minute Christmas flights cost?
If a ticket for a Christmas flight was available in August for $500, the same flight will cost you almost twice as much if you buy in December. This is basically the main reason why you should book your Christmas flight NOW. Early November is still a good month to get cheap Christmas flights. You will get your tickets almost two months in advance, which gives you peace of mind.
Best Travel Dates for Christmas Flights
- One to two weeks before Christmas
- After Christmas (December 27 to December 30)
- One week after New Year (9 January – ….)
When you’re traveling to a popular place at a popular time, it’s even more important to book early. Fly when no one else wants to. If everyone is flying out on the Christmas week, book your flight one week before or a week after the peak travel dates. This way you will be able to find cheaper deals.
Cheapest Time to Plan New Year Flights
If you’re planning to fly home for New Year or celebrate the holiday abroad, you should book your flight when the Christmas fares are low. Look for travel dates after Christmas and shortly before December 31. You might find the best round-trip fares if you fly out between December 27 and December 29 and fly back after January 2.
Last-Minute Christmas Flight Deals
Last-minute deals are more of a low-season thing. The reason airlines drop their prices so much is that they don’t want their planes to be left half full. As you may suspect, Christmas and New Year flights don’t fall into this category.
The only last-minute Christmas deal you can get is if someone cancels their tickets shortly before their trip. But that’s not something you can rely on. So, if you don’t want to end up buying a ticket that costs three times as much, book in advance!
What to do if you really need a last-minute flight?
Will there be any flights left? Yes. There are dozens of airlines that operate flights to a particular destination, especially from the main airports, like JFK, LAX, and ATL. If you’re traveling from a smaller airport, most of the flights will be booked, but there might still be tickets available on some flights. However, these last-minute tickets are far more expensive.
Airlines with the Lowest Christmas Fares
Airlines charge different fares for flights to different destinations. But, in general, the following seven airlines have the lowest fares. So, to get the cheapest Christmas flight, consider flying with one of these low-cost airlines:
- Air Asia
- Frontier Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- Virgin America
Christmas and New Year are the most celebrated holidays in the world. This means they’re peak times for travel. So, what should you remember? Flights will cost more and it’s even more important to book in advance. But, if you put aside the rush and the crowded airports, it’s the most wonderful time to travel.
*Click here to see a full listing of fares and restriction.