Holiday Airfares Hardly Festive

Air Fares, Airplane, Money, Increase, Decrease CBS/AP

The holiday travel season is right around the corner. And airfares are way up.

For instance, to fly from New York to Miami for Thanksgiving would cost you $363 roundtrip on average, 13 percent higher than last year's $321. From Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort Worth roundtrip? $391, a 15 percent increase from the $341 average last year.

Thanksgiving fares "are absolutely higher than they were last year," observed Travelocity Editor at Large Amy Ziff. "Airlines have been very candid about the fact that they need to raise their prices.

"They (also) slashed capacity," Ziff told co-anchor Julie Chen. "This Thanksgiving, there are 2.6 million fewer direct seats for the Thanksgiving holiday. That means there are a lot of people who aren't going to be able to fly the routes they want and the schedules they want.

"However, what we are starting to see, finally, finally, for the first time in as long as I can remember for holidays, we are starting to see some holiday fares soften. Now, when I say soften, I'm not saying you are going to get a steal of a deal if you haven't bought your Thanksgiving ticket. I'm talking about, in the past three weeks, they've come down by about $11. They started, on average, domestic fares, $404, $393, but that's a big deal, because we've been riding such high, high, high fares."

What's her best advice if somebody needs to travel this Thanksgiving or Christmas season?

"Be flexible and try to fly outside the peak holiday dates and try alternate airports, alternate dates and times. ... Every bit of flexibility is going to get you a less expensive ticket. And, buy a package, too. That will save you."
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