By Rick Seaney – CEO of FareCompare.com
The holiday season in the Big Apple is a bustling time, but what if you’re looking to get away this year? This handy little trick will help anyone who can exercise a little (or a lot) of flexibility, especially when choosing destinations. It could save a bundle during the holidays and it’s very simple. Keep reading, after the podcast.
LISTEN: Rick Seaney’s podcast has more.
Fly Big, Fly Short for Savings
What this means:
Fly big: Fly between two large airports, preferably hubs. This includes both departure and destination airports.
Fly short: Limit flight times to roughly 90 minutes or less.
Such routes typically have lots of airline competition, which keeps prices low, but it also protects the routes from the crazy holiday price hikes that are all-too-common at peak travel periods.
Here are some examples of fly-big-fly-short routes; see the non-peak pricing vs. holiday fares:
NYC – Washington DC*
- Flights in October: $267 average
- Flights week of Christmas: $203
NYC – Boston*
- Flights in October: $281 average
- Flights week of Thanksgiving: $155
Dallas – Houston*
- Flights in October: $371 average
- Flights week of Christmas: $183
Los Angeles – San Francisco*
- Flights in October: $325 average
- Flights at Thanksgiving: $229
*Round trips. Non-stop. All prices were found the first week of October and may have changed.
What You Can Do
Are you leaving New York to head to a small town or location with limited airport options? If your destination airport is small but there’s a hub within a couple hours drive, compare prices to both; the longer drive may be worth it. If you’re traveling as a group, there is a lot of savings. And since you probably don’t drive much or at all living in New York, here’s your chance!
Tip: See if you can influence holiday venues. If the family can’t decide whether to celebrate Turkey Day in Hartford or Boston, compare prices to both cities – but Boston will likely be a better deal for most.
Whether flying big or small, long or short, always compare airfares. No single airline always has the best deal but you won’t know which does if you don’t compare.