Business/Economy
6:23 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Flexibility Is Key To Flying Cheaper This Holiday Season

We all gripe about pricey airfare over the holidays. But if you use a few simple tips, it’s not too late to book less expensive travel.

There are even still deals to be had for Thanksgiving, as long as you’re willing to be flexible. 

Chris Ruggles flew into Dallas Love Field Wednesday. He’s going to spend the winter in North Texas to help his brother with a catering business. Originally, he’d planned on coming in closer to Thanksgiving, but when he looked into flights, he changed his mind.

“My sister was doing some online research for me and found out that if we were to book on Saturday, the ticket from Manchester, New Hampshire to Houston to Dallas was $1,650 and if I were to book it today, it was $172," Ruggles said. "So that’s the jump you get for holiday flying.”

Ruggles says he doesn’t usually fly around Thanksgiving or Christmas, and the comparison shopping he just did left a bad taste in his mouth.

“It opened my eyes. I probably wouldn’t travel around the holidays now knowing that, it was crazy," Ruggles said. "That’s big money, that’s big bucks in this kind of economy we’re in right now, so.”

The days around Christmas and Thanksgiving are usually the most expensive, but experts say there are ways to save money, right in the thick of things. That's according to Tom Parsons, CEO of North Texas based BestFares.com.

“The nice thing is we’re going to still continue to see deals come out of Dallas," Parsons said. "I think this is a very good Christmas for Dallas Fort Worth if you’re flexible.”

He says being flexible means booking around certain travel days. You can save quite a bit by booking flights on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

And even though Thanksgiving is fast approaching, Parsons says if you avoid the Wednesday before and the weekend after, there are still deals to be had.

“The good news is, the airlines are trying to get every greenback they can from us so a couple weeks ago they started reducing the advance purchase for the cheapest airfares," said Parsons.

DFW’s biggest carrier, American Airlines, wouldn't comment on whether flights are selling out, beyond saying they expect very full planes around the holidays.

Parsons says destinations to avoid around the holidays if you’re worried about cost are places like the Caribbean and Mexico.