With Thanksgiving only a week away, many people may be looking for those last minute travel deals for the holidays. This year, you could find deals at various times of the year for Thanksgiving. From cheap flights for Thanksgiving in August up to last minute deals a couple of weeks ago, you’ve had to keep your eyes open to find the best deals for holiday travel.
This week, a number of airlines are offering some budget travel deals for Thanksgiving. While flights are just part of the costs, there are other ways to help you save money on holiday travel like these holiday travel tips and holiday travel tips for kids.
So what’s the key to getting a cheap flight for last minute Thanksgiving travel? Buy now and be flexible.
Cheap flights for Thanksgiving holidays
Here are the airlines offering last minute flights for Thanksgiving. And here’s what you need to know to make sure you get the best deal.
Southwest Airlines, American Airlines
Southwest – Find flights from $114 to $350 each way for Thanksgiving. Most of the flights available are in the $150 – $250 range but the price of flights will vary by destination and date. Flights must be purchased by November 17 11:59 PM PST for Southwest and 1 day advanced purchase required.
American - Flights range from $120 to $441 each way. 1 day advanced purchase and Saturday night stay required.
Valid travel dates - Fly now through November 24. However, black out dates apply for November 22 – 23.
Best travel deal for Thanksgiving - Buy your flight now. The longer you wait, the more expensive they will be. Fly back to your destination on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday to get the best deal. After Thanksgiving, fly home the following, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday.
Thanksgiving travel advisory - These flights will get you to your destination. However, you can expect to pay more to get home. Flying the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday after Thanksgiving will be much cheaper than flying the Saturday, Sunday, or Monday after Thanksgiving. Expect to pay at least $30 more on your return flight. This will vary based on what day you fly and the availability of flights.
Traveling during the holidays is never cheap. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or summer vacation, use these travel tips to find the cheapest flights.
United is also offering Thanksgiving deals. However, no one knows what they are until you search for them. A sample round trip flight is listed for various cities. However, you have to click on the link to Find Fare and put in the dates you want to see what the price is.
Get more information on Thanksgiving travel deals at United Airlines.
No Thanksgiving deals are listed for Continental. However, you can find some great deals for Christmas. Get flights for as low as $102 round trip from Boston to Newark (before taxes). Fly round trip from San Francisco to Newark for $500 or Los Angeles to Newark for $384.
Valid travel dates - Fly December 14 – 25
Christmas travel advisory - Book now. These deals won’t last long. Note that flying back after Christmas will cost more money. Best days to fly will be the Tuesday or Wednesday after Christmas.
The best travel deals for Thanksgiving may be found at Virgin America – for your return flight. You will need to be a little flexible but these airfares may be the lowest around. $49 from San Francisco to Los Angeles or San Diego and less than $100 each way from Seattle and Dallas/Ft Worth to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Get flights from coast to coast all for less than $169 each way (like New York to San Francisco).
Valid travel dates - Fly November 18 through March 14. Black out dates apply for November 23 and 26 – 28, December 16-17, 22-24, 26, 2011 and January 2, 2012 and February 17, 2012 and February 20, 2012. 7 day advanced purchase is required and tickets must be purchased by November 21 11:59 PM CST.
Best travel deal for Thanksgiving - Buy your flight now. Why are you still reading this? For a 7 day advanced purchase, you must buy today to fly November 22 as November 23 is a black out date. Fly the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday after Thanksgiving for your return flight. Use this deal to fly back from your destination and use one of the other deals above to get you to your destination.
Thanksgiving travel advisory - It’s too late to get deals to fly to your Thanksgiving destination. However, you may get a great deal to fly back. Just note the black out dates and 7 day advanced purchase requirement.
Holiday travel tips and information
For many people, the holidays may be one of the few times during the year they fly. Many people may not be aware of things like the TSA body scanners or the TSA Secure Flight Program. So being prepared for new airport procedures is required.
Like holiday shopping, travel during the holidays means long lines. However, here are some tips to help you avoid long lines through airport security. Many may be surprised at the cost of baggage fees. However, holiday travel doesn’t mean mean you have to pay more. Save money on your airline baggage fees as well.
For those that want some help around the airport, check out this airport guide for information on where to park, eat, use Wi-Fi for free, and more. And always know your rights when you fly with the airline passenger bill of rights.
No matter where you go or what you do, find the best travel deals for Thanksgiving with these cheap flights. Always be prepared for the hectic holiday travel season with travel tips – and lots of patience!