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Priceline.com Predicts Best Days To Fly For Thanksgiving & Christmas 2011
Oct 06, 2011 (05:10 PM EDT)
Airline flight cuts expected to drive higher prices, limited availability
NORWALK, Conn., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Before you start shopping Halloween costumes, you might want to fire up the computer and book your Thanksgiving and Christmas airline tickets. Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) reports that some of the biggest U.S. airlines cut back on flights earlier this year, and is predicting higher holiday airfares and more limited ticket availability for the 2011 holiday travel season.
Already, the national average for Thanksgiving airfares is $400, up 4% over last year. The national average for Christmas airfares is doing better at $475, up 1% over last year. Priceline calculated the average airfares for both holidays based on published price airline tickets booked by its customers between July 1 and October 4, 2011.
Earlier this year, major airlines told the media that they were planning to cut their 4th quarter 2011 flight numbers. Delta said it would reduce its flights by 4% to 5%, while American reduced its Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday flights by approximately 4% starting last August. United and Continental, which have merged, expected flight reductions of 2% to 3% for domestic flights for 2011.
"With holiday airline tickets, it's the same pull and tug of supply versus demand except, this year, supply will be down with some of the major airlines flying fewer seats," said priceline.com's Travel Ekspert, Brian Ek. "It's always possible that travelers may balk at higher airfares and airlines will respond with sales. However, with ticket inventories already reduced, that's not likely to happen. Travelers who want to go somewhere over the holiday season might want to think about locking in their tickets before fares start to rise and seats are taken."
Airfares, hotel room and rental car rates for the holidays are highly dynamic and subject to change. To help travelers get the best available travel deals, priceline.com has created a web page http://pcln.com/bestdays. The page contains an interactive and frequently updated Best Days To Fly calendar and hotel deals from around the country.
According to Priceline's Best Days To Fly Calendar for the holidays:
Ek also had some additional tips to help find cheaper airfare and keep those travel costs down after the airfare is booked.
About The Priceline Group
Booking.com is the number one online hotel reservation service in the world, offering over 165,000 hotels (as of October 1, 2011), and is available in 43 languages. More recent hotel counts are available on the Booking.com website. Priceline.com gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com's famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available. Agoda.com is an Asia-based online hotel reservation service that is available in 37 languages. TravelJigsaw is a multinational car hire service, offering its reservation services in over 4,000 locations. Customer support is provided in 29 languages.