Due to increased airline competition and lower fuel prices, travelers can expect holiday air travel to be cheaper than it was in 2014. (Photo: iStock)
Second only to a forced conversation with your drunk uncle, expensive airfare is the worst part of holiday travel.
But this year, travelers might get a break.
According to the travel website Hopper, airfare purchased in November and December will be about 16 percent cheaper compared to last year. In addition, tickets purchased for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel are expected to be about five percent lower than they were in 2014.
The best part is, there’s no catch!
According to Hopper’s Chief Data Scientist, Patrick Surry, the explanation is pretty simple. “The oil price has dropped significantly and that’s finally starting to get passed on to consumers,” Surry told NBC News. “Giving the airlines more ability to compete on price.”
And those price competitions have really benefited travelers. Discount carriers like Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines have both grown in capacity, and those added seats are forcing other airlines to lower their prices.
Routes from busy airports, like LAX, are expected to be cheaper than they were in 2014. (Photo: iStock)
When it comes to specific routes, the more popular it is, the cheaper it will be. Los Angeles International (LAX) is expected to be the busiest airport in the U.S. during Thanksgiving. That means travelers will be able to fly from LA to Atlanta for 34 percent less than last year.
According to the website FareCompare, ticket prices from Denver to Orlando will be 25 percent cheaper, and New York to Dallas will see a stunning 42 percent price drop compared to last year.
But cheaper fares means that airlines are finding other ways to get your money.
Frontier will increase fees for carry-on and checked bags by $5 to $10 depending on where you check in.
And Spirit will charge an extra $2 for the first checked bag from Dec. 16 to Jan. 4.
So while airfare will likely be cheaper this holiday season, be sure to factor in everything when booking your holiday travel.
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