This can be an expensive holiday travel season. Here’s what North Texas-based airlines have to say about canceled vacation flights.
Dallas – How far are relatives again? Actually, it doesn’t matter. What if we take a road trip for Thanksgiving and come home… then turn around and do it all again at Christmas?
You may have that idea at some point in the coming months because airlines are desperate to avoid what we’ve seen in this summer’s offseason. You read that right: travail, which this summer has been synonymous with travel, at least by air.
By now you may have seen the dire warnings that airlines, determined to avoid the hassles of traveling lately, have cut tens of thousands of holiday flights. Therefore, we will have fewer seats available and pent-up demand for travel will continue, which means that an expensive holiday gift for your family may be the flight you take to see them.
Some great efforts to analyze when you might find the cheapest vacation trips
Overall, they estimate that traveling away from Thanksgiving will be 25% more expensive this year than it was last year, and that flights around Christmas will cost 28% more than last year.
Google Flights recently analyzed airfares for the past five years. The site says they “calculated average round-trip fares observed on August 1, 2017, through August 1, 2022, on Google Flights, for 6-9 day and 13-16 day flights departing from the top 4,000 markets in our
For Thanksgiving and Christmas, we checked 6-9 day trips and 13-16 day trips with pre-holiday departure dates and post-holiday return dates.”
They found that around Thanksgiving, the lowest prices were typically 36 to 74 days before departure. We’re in that window now. Google Flights says Thanksgiving flights are usually cheaper 52 days after departure. Assuming you leave on Thanksgiving Day, 52 days before October 3.
But while you’re booking this flight, don’t sleep in Christmas plans, because Google Flights found out that airfares around that holiday went down 20 to 88 days before you left, so we’re in this window as well, because the 88 days before Christmas Day was the 28th September. Google found that the cheapest average fares for Christmas holidays were 22 days before takeoff. However, waiting until then to book it can be risky.
Set alerts for the best weather deals
But if you’re considering setting an alert to let you know when prices improve, there are a couple of sites that do a better job than the others, according to Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Will canceled flights affect your plans to travel with North Texas-based carriers?
Dallas-based Southwest Airlines says its fall schedule revisions affected less than 2% of all of its flights. They boast that they will be flying what they call a “full vacation schedule” from their home airport, Dallas Love Field. Therefore, they expect to operate “195 peak days flights” at Love Field during the holidays.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines made headlines for cutting thousands of flights at the end of the year. In November alone, they cut 16% of their schedule. That’s 31,000 fewer trips. How many of those might be from the huge AA hub at DFW Airport? The airline says it “has no specific numbers to share”.
But if you’re concerned about flight cuts affecting your plans, the carrier says it’s now back in the pre-pandemic system to publish “the final US schedule about 100 days in advance.” This means that the Thanksgiving schedule should be completely closed by now. And we had 100 days of Christmas on September 16th. Therefore, this timeline must now be determined as well.
We’ll see if removing all of those flights makes it go more smoothly than the mess we’ve seen with many airlines over the summer.