Airfarewatchdog(TM), the most inclusive source of airfare deals, researched and verified by experts, today urged travelers to not panic about media reports claiming that expensive airfares will be commonplace during peak holiday travel this year. The site's founder, George Hobica, notes, "Some routes, especially those served by a large number of airlines, have experienced wide fluctuations in price, and not just in the up direction."
Airfarewatchdog found fares from Newark to San Francisco, departing the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and returning the Sunday after, for over $600 round-trip including taxes. Two days later, seats could be had for $389 round-trip with taxes and two days after that, fares had begun to climb again.
To find a holiday airfare bargain, Hobica also suggests that travelers:
•Check fares every day, several times a day, and when travelers see a fare they can afford or consider reasonable - grab it.
•Don't hesitate to book a fare if they find a peak holiday airfare for long haul routes under $400 round-trip with tax, or under $300 on shorter haul routes.
•Fly airlines that give full "fare drop" refunds. Three airlines--Southwest, JetBlue, and Alaska--will refund the difference in full if a fare goes down between the time they buy and the time they fly. Refunds are in the form of a credit good for future travel; other airlines offer refunds, but deduct $100 to $150 from any money due, often wiping out any savings.
•Check airline sites directly, since airlines don't always share their entire seat inventory with third party search and aggregator sites.