Finding last-minute Thanksgiving airfare

It's not entirely impossible to find a decent fare, but travelers can't be choosy

Finding last-minute Thanksgiving airfare
If you haven’t booked Thanksgiving airfare yet, you’re not entirely out of luck, but you may have to do some digging for deals.

(CNN) – One of the busiest travel periods of the entire year is just about two weeks away. If you haven’t booked Thanksgiving airfare yet, you’re not entirely out of luck, but you may have to do some digging for deals, and keep plans flexible.

For those who haven’t yet booked Thanksgiving tickets, George Hobica of AirfareWatchdog.com says it’s not entirely impossible to find a decent fare, but travelers can’t be choosy.

“There are always going to be bargains, but it’s going to be in the bargain bin for example you’re going to have to travel on a 5AM flight instead of a more convenient 9AM flight.”

Travel website Kayak crunched the numbers and found the best day for deals.

“If at all possible, we highly suggest traveling on Thanksgiving. It might be a little unconventional, but one option to save big would be to depart and return on Thanksgiving Day.”

Kayak says another good departure day is the Monday before Thanksgiving, returning on Thanksgiving Day or Night.

When looking at connections, Hobica recommends checking a flight’s on-time arrival performance with a site like FlightAware.com.

“Its main use for me is it tells you how late a certain flight has been historically, so if you are connecting, you want to make sure that you don’t buy it on a flight that’s always late.”

Especially since rebooking can be tricky during a busy travel period like Thanksgiving. And if fares to visit family are simply too costly now, try something different.

“Because most people are traveling home for the holidays, the destinations that are traditionally more popular tourist destinations are actually less crowded than they would be normally.”

Think destinations like New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Orlando for the Thanksgiving break.

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