You are hereThis year's holiday fare forecast
This year's holiday fare forecast
Holiday travel has always been a pain in the butt, but this year it's even harder on your wallet.
Holiday travel has always been a little pricey, but this year an additional holiday surcharge has been added. A $10 holiday surcharge was introduced at the end of September on some airlines and has slowly crept onto new dates and into new airlines as well. Delta, Northwest, American and United have doubled the surcharge to $20 for the busiest travel days around Christmas and New Year's.
At first the surcharge was just geared towards Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day but now airlines are considering adding the surcharge for Easter and spring break dates as well. According to USA Today, from now through May 28, 2010 United, Delta and Northwest have as many as 41 travel days with holiday or peak travel airfare surcharges ranging between $10 to $50.
For now carriers like JetBlue and Southwest have avoided the urge to splurge on travel fees. Local Colorado carrier, Frontier, is considering the fees but has not added surcharges to any flights.
Luckily for smart buyers, these hefty surcharges and price tags on flights can be avoided. Airlines use data mining, computer programming and mathematical algorithms to figure out the busiest travel days so that they know how much to charge. Now a new Website, Farecast.com is doing the same thing, but they're doing it not to rip off travelers but to help them.
Farecast offers a glimpse of pricing trends: it shows where the price has been, where Farecast thinks it’ll go and how confident the site is of that prediction. The creators of Farecast have made the site user friendly by adding colorful graphics to illustrate the up and down trends for those consumers who want a quick and easy way to check ticket prices.
According to an article from Bing Travel, airline gurus like Peter Greenburg, a contributor to Bing, suggest that people use deal saver sites like Farecast to get the best deals on flights. He also suggests trying to travel on dead dates rather than the popular travel dates. As for saving on Christmas itineraries, the most popular dates are a Wednesday departure and Sunday return so Greenburg suggests trying to fly on Christmas Day for savings of around 10 percent.
New Years Eve is another expensive travel period but the week after is a dead week. So if you can put off seeing the family until a few days after the New Year, you'll be able save some money. It is also recommended that consumers try booking their tickets 45 days in advance or earlier to have more options for flight days and times at cheaper prices.