Travel Deal Tuesday is the best time to book cheap flights, economist says

If you’re starting to think about travel in 2023, mark your calendar for Travel Deal Tuesday to grab some great deals.

According to Hayley Berg, chief economist for Hopper.

“We’re talking savings of up to $300 on domestic flights, well over $1,000 on international flights,” she said. “A lot of destinations are going to be discounted on Travel Deal Tuesday.”

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After Thanksgiving, most people have already booked their Christmas trips and aren’t ready to think about next year’s trip. Combine that with major consumer holidays such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber ​​Monday, airlines and hotels have an incentive to lower prices the week after Thanksgiving to entice people to start shopping. think about spending that money on travel.

Berg said travel apps like Hopper are also offering $100 off trips to destinations like Rome, Tokyo and Santorini, to help make Travel Deal Tuesday even more important for consumers planning a vacation next year. .

Flight capacity has been a big issue for several airlines. If your flight is canceled, there’s no guarantee you’ll take the next available flight, Berg said. It is important, if you are arriving in or departing from one of these airports where there will be bad weather over the next week, to be aware of your options if your flight is cancelled.

“Many airlines have waived change fees during the pandemic,” Berg said. “So if you can proactively move your flight to the day before or even just earlier in the day, you might be able to save yourself some hassle if your flight is indeed canceled entirely.”

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Why is there so much less flight capacity right now?

On domestic routes — think Boston to Los Angles — there’s nearly the same capacity or seats available to reserve as there were in 2019 before the pandemic.

“But international routes have been much slower to recover,” she said. “We haven’t seen the same volume of capacity available for travelers to book.”

It’s not just the pandemic recovery that’s contributing to slightly lower capacity, Berg said. Airlines are also rebuilding their staff in addition to facing a shortage of pilots and problems with handling equipment.

“Keep in mind that in 2019 Boeing delayed the delivery of many planes,” Berg said. “In addition to these two years of pandemic, many airlines have fewer planes than they expected in 2023.

The good news is that over the week of Thanksgiving in particular, airlines have built their schedules and expect to see around 13% more seats available than last year.

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