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Thanksgiving airfares $80 cheaper than Christmas
Tags: blog index, christmas airfares, priceline, thansgiving airfares, travel ekspert, turkey trumps santa

Yes, indeed, the turkey definitely trumps Santa this holiday season.

If your budget won't let you fly home for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, then you're better off spending Turkey Day with the folks. Based on holiday airfares booked by customers between July 1 and October 1, 2009, we found that the average Thanksgiving airfare this year is $361 – almost $80 less than the average December holidays airfare of $440.
Priceline's air team also found that average airfares for the 2009 Thanksgiving and December holidays are about 10% lower than last year.
I chatted with Mark Koehler, the head of Priceline's airline ticketing service, and he made a pretty compelling case for booking holiday tickets now.  Last year, I also recommended buying tickets early, but then something happened before we could hit that "book now" key. 
The bottom fell out of the economy and people stopped spending.  Airlines were faced with the rare event of running fare sales right into the holidays to fill up their seats.  Koehler says that' s not likely to happen this year.  Prices may even go up as the holidays approach, because available seat capacity is lower this year than last year.  So the early bird gets the cheapest ticket.
Here are some other tips for getting a holiday air ticket deal on Priceline:
  • Use Priceline’s Inside Track to find the holiday travel days and airfare that are right for you. It’s all there at The Best Days To Fly Calendar lets travelers plug in cities and see airfares by departure and return date. A scrolling list shows what’s happening to airfares from a designated city to other destinations around the world. Priceline’s Price Drop feature will send an email when fares drop for a desired trip. And travelers can get tips on how to bid using’s Name Your Own Price® airline tickets service and what kind of itinerary they’re most likely to get.
  • Pick times of the day that are normally less busy. Time of day is important. You'll find the most affordable seats departing early in the morning (5-7 a.m.) or late evening (after 8 p.m.). Mid-day (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) is a bit more expensive, but still reasonable. Most expensive are the peak business travel hours (8-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.).
  • Consider using’s Name Your Own Price® airline tickets service.  Visit and click on the link to use’s Name Your Own Price® airline tickets service.  Depending on your itinerary, you may be successful making a bid that's 40% below published fares.  
  • Need a rental car or hotel room with that ticket?  Don’t make the relatives drive into that airport madhouse. Customers using’s published-price and Name Your Own Price airline tickets service can now add a rental car with a few mouse clicks And here’s another tip – customers may find they can get a Name Your Own Price® airfare/rental car combo for less than the price of a published-price airline ticket.
 If Thanksgiving sleeping arrangements include the couch, then get a comfy hotel room using’s published-price or Name Your Own Price® hotel service Be sure to try Priceline’s new hotel Price Maps, that help travelers find their perfect hotel by scrolling over interactive city maps that locate and display hotels and published prices or, for Name Your Own Price® hotel fans, recent winning bids for specific neighborhoods throughout a city. Check out