Expert advises when to book holiday flights

Good news for holiday travelers: Domestic airfares are low across the board.

“You’re very likely to be able to snag a very good deal for Thanksgiving,” said Willis Orlando, a flight expert at Scott’s Cheap Flights. But he said travelers have to move quickly to lock something down: “I would say wait no longer than another week or so. You’re kind of coming up on that time when it’s best to book.”

For Christmas domestic travel, “wait no longer than another month,” he said.

“You want to be booking those things by mid-October at the latest because those flights do go fast.”

For international Christmas travel, he advised booking now.

Orlando added that trip flexibility is key, as travel right around holidays will, of course, cost the most.

He also points out that some airlines — such as Delta and United — are waiving change fees for all tickets, and many other airlines are waiving change fees on tickets above basic economy.

“So if you see a good deal to wherever you need to go, feel free to grab it right now knowing that if you see a better deal down the line you might be able to move your ticket around and get a credit with the airline,” he said.

There are exceptional deals when it comes to non-holiday travel. Round-trip fares from the D.C. area to Europe are “in the high 200s and low 300s,” Orlando said, “and we expect that to continue.”

Domestically, “we’re seeing stuff for October coast-to-coast for like $155 round trip from D.C. pretty regularly,” though he said, “we expect those to go by the wayside pretty soon.”

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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