Haven’t Booked Thanksgiving Travel Yet? Wait Until November

Travelers still looking to purchase flights for Thanksgiving will see a nearly 10% cost-savings if they wait to book until the first week of November.

Using Adobe Analytics, we analyzed over 1 trillion visits to websites, including many of the world’s leading travel sites from 2018-2019. Specifically, the study has found that the first week of November promises the most in savings, with airfare increasing up to 14% a week in the lead up to Thanksgiving.

“I think people assume that booking now would end up saving them some money, but last year’s data model doesn’t support that,” said Vivek Pandya, managing analyst, ADI. “If you are still in the market to book flights, that first week of November is really the sweet spot.”

Generally speaking, travelers have seen the average price on flights for Thanksgiving increase at 6% each year since 2016. However, this year we expect flight tickets to be 5% cheaper for the peak Thanksgiving period.

“We’ve seen a strong level of growth in online holiday revenue share for the travel industries, and airlines in particular,” Pandya said. “Part of that can be attributed to better and more seamless experiences online for booking, and also the fact that prices have been a bit down this year overall. That forces the demand up.”

Data from Adobe Analytics also suggests that holding off until December to book Christmas flights may also mean savings. ADI expects that flights will decrease by 13% the first week of December. However, Pandya warned, “Don’t wait too long, as prices will jump back up [8%] the week prior to the holiday.”

For travelers trying to decide on whether they should visit the family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, Turkey Day looks to be the cheaper option, according to the analysis. Travelers will find that booking flights anytime during the year is much cheaper for Thanksgiving than it is for Christmas. In fact, ticket prices for the week leading up to Christmas are nearly 17% more expensive than the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

“What this analysis shows is how Adobe Analytics can help slice and dice data,” Pandya said. “It can help better forecast outcomes, and proves that getting from data to insight doesn’t need to be difficult. Our AI and machine learning algorithms put hidden opportunities and answers into the hands of everyone who needs it within an organization.”

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