Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Airline Travel Tips

Many of you are planning timeshare vacations for the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years holidays, so the article "Holiday Travel 2010: What You Need to Know" is very timely. Written by travel journalist Ed Hewitt, and published on IndependentTraveler.com on October 25, 2010, the article offers salient advice on how to navigate holiday airline travel.
  • Do it Now
    If you're serious about a holiday trip, make those plans now, says Hewitt. Traditionally, by the middle of October the lower air fares are gone, and from then on fares only keep rising. Every day counts at this point.

  • Fees, Fees, Fees
    If you haven't flown in awhile, you're in for a shock. Be prepared for the fact that airlines are now tacking on extra fees for just about everything. Even those of you who have had some experience with the now-common extra costs of flying might find some surprises here. Hewitt says, "In short you will likely be charged for almost everything you do from the moment you sit down at your computer to search for a fare until you get home" including online booking fees, fees to speak to someone on the phone, fees to use your miles or points, fees to pick your seat, fees for every checked bag, fees for headphones, fees for food, and now a new one - fees for carry-on bags.

  • Peak Travel
    For years the "Busiest Travel Day of the Year" has been the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Many people have been frightened away from travel on that horrendous day, and now opt to fly on Tuesday. So know this: that day is now the priciest day for airline fares in the entire holiday season.

    Hewitt also gives this warning - another tacked on fee by many airlines is now the "holiday surcharge." You'll pay from 10% to 30% more just for flying on a peak holiday travel day.

  • Days to Avoid
    Hewitt points out that both Christmas and New Years land on Saturdays this year. The peak holiday season will officially start for trips that begin on December 17 and later, and end more or less on January 3. The most popular Christmas travel dates will inevitably be Thursday, December 23 and Sunday, December 26. "If you can avoid those dates," says Hewitt, "you will save yourself irritation and money as well."

    "Finally, if there is one travel day you avoid, make it Sunday, January 2," recommends Hewitt. "The entire country is going to be due back at work on January 3, and everyone will be scrambling home, whether by plane, train, automobile, or magic carpet."

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