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Procrastinators: Why flights for Thanksgiving cost you more

Tuesday - 10/8/2013, 10:26am  ET

chicago airport (AP)
Thanksgiving Day is the least expensive day to fly for the holiday, followed by the Monday and Tuesday before turkey day and the Saturday and Tuesday after the holiday. (AP)

Why flights cost you more and when prices for Christmas go up

Rick Seaney, FareCompare co-founder

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WASHINGTON - If you haven't booked your Thanksgiving flight yet, your procrastination may be hitting you in the wallet.

For every day that you delay booking a Thanksgiving flight, it's costing you $5 each way, said Rick Seaney, FareCompare co-founder.

"The price goes up even more dramatically once you hit November," he said,

Airlines have been making moves to help keep their cash flowing, and it's creating less competition.

"What we've seen over the last five few years is this huge drawdown in the number of seats as we went through the oil crisis of 2008 and the recession of 2009, airlines cut back, especially retracting back into their major hub cities. A lot of these smaller cities don't have as many seats as they had going into these major hubs."

There are two days, he said, that you should avoid when booking a flight for Thanksgiving.

"Wednesday and Sunday are the two busiest days of the year the last few years, and not coincidentally, the most expensive," he said.

You can save a few dollars by booking a connecting flight, or if your travels don't take you too far.

"if you're traveling under 90 minutes, those ticket prices typically don't go up much."

To find the best rates, consider signing up for fare alerts from your favorite online booking site and joining frequent flyer or loyalty programs.

The good news is flights for the Christmas holiday are still wide open.

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