Next Week's the Best Time to Start Booking Holiday Flights -

Next Week's the Best Time to Start Booking Holiday Flights

Next Week's the Best Time to Start Booking Holiday Flights
Next Week's the Best Time to Start Booking Holiday Flights

The much-anticipated Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays may still be months away, but the best time to book flights for these busy travel weeks is quickly approaching. In fact, a recent analysis of AAA Travel’s flight booking data from the last three years reveals that Sept. 25 marks the start of the best booking window for air travel around both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

“Holiday travelers should make their plans now and begin booking their flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas as early as Wednesday, Sept. 25 for the best deals and availability,” said Aldo Vazquez, spokesperson for AAA Arizona. “Last year, AAA forecast a record-breaking amount of travelers, if that trend continues you can expect busy airports.”  

Thanksgiving Insights

  • Best time to book airfare: September 25 - October 27 Average price: $491
  • Best Pricing: Seven to 13 days before the holiday but availability is limited. Average Price: $482
  • Best day to fly before the holiday: Monday before Thanksgiving. Average Price: $486
  • Least crowded day to travel: Sunday before Thanksgiving but prices are highest. Average Price: $564
  • Cheapest day to fly: Thanksgiving Day Average Price: $454  

Christmas Insights

  • Best time to book airfare: September 26 - October 25 Average Price: $551
  • Most popular time to book airfare: October 26 - November 27 Average price: $561
  • Best pricing: Seven to 13 days before Christmas but availability is limited. Average price: $488
  • Least expensive least crowded day to travel: Christmas Eve Average price: $527
  • Busiest day to travel: December 22nd Average Price: $639
  • Most expensive day to travel after Christmas: December 26th Average price: $692

When it comes to getting the best value for your travel this holiday season, AAA recommends:

  • Start researching holiday travel options now and book flights by Oct. 27.
  • Consult a knowledgeable travel agent; they can take the guesswork out of researching and evaluating the many available options, saving time, the hassle and the headache.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance for your flight to protect your trip from life’s unexpected surprises that can throw a wrench in your plans.  For more information, visit  


AAA analyzed its member flight booking data for travel within the continental United States, from 2016-2018 to determine the best and most popular times to book air travel for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, as well as the prices travelers pay during various advance booking windows. An unweighted, three-year average ticket price was used for this analysis. Since Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, the full week of Thanksgiving (Sunday through Saturday) was analyzed. For the Christmas holiday, Dec. 19-26 was analyzed, regardless of what day of the week Christmas fell on that year.  

About AAA Arizona

AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit