Travel Trends: Thanksgiving Fares Steadily Increasing

By Ross Perez 27 Oct, 2009

Tuesday the 27th marked the first update of our Travel Trends site. With fresh data from QL2, we can begin to notice price trends in purchase date as well as flying dates. As the countdown to Thanksgiving continues, it will be fascinating to see if prices continue their upward trend or if last minute shoppers will have the last laugh.

Use this guide to find the best fare, compare to the price you already paid, or lament on waiting until this week to purchase.

Only a week has passed since we first posted this data, but this updated visualization shows a striking difference in fares. The major trends remain: try to avoid major markets and flights on Wednesday and Sunday. However, these trends are manifesting themselves at much higher prices. If you waited to purchase a fare from Newark to San Francisco, you will likely pay $200 dollars more, especially if you cannot avoid flying on the 25th or 29th.

As always, the flexible traveler will prevail! Compare last weeks Travel Trends data to examine changes.


Submitted by Chris Miller (non vérifié) on

Ross, great stuff. Really demos well. Couple of comments

1. My guess is that few travelers will take the 2/3 stop flights, even on a holiday. They don't really influence the pricing of the non-stop and one stop. You could probably take them out of the data set or the display and you wouldn't lose much analytically.

2. It would be interesting to distinguish between business and leisure airfares in the data somehow

3. Are the fares quoted one way or round trip?

4. is there a way to clearly identify the dominant carrier by number of flights on a route? This is the carrier that is setting prices in the market. See non-stops on Wash IAD - Seattle as an example. United is the hubbing carrier at IAD and has a large presence in Seattle.

5. Is there a way to identify how far in advance these fares were booked? The analysis seems to imply that the fare will vary by day of week, which is true. But it will also vary a lot more by how far in advance the reservation was made.

Just my 2 cents...chris

Submitted by Ross Perez on


Thanks very much for your comments. Thought I would respond and see if I can answer some of your questions.

1. Definitely agreed that the majority of travelers will not opt for the multi-stop option, but we wanted to include that for the people who may not have very much knowledge about airfares. Some people may wonder if more stops are cheaper - we wanted to let them see.
2. Great idea! This would be an excellent add-on.
3. Round trip fares... so on each side you are looking at the average return fare for that date, independent of the other day you are flying.
4. Also a great idea for an add-on- right now there is no way to search by number of flights.
5. As of now we have not included this... unfortunately we will not know when the best day to purchase is until after Thanksgiving has passed. You can look at our previous updates to see how fares have trended so far.

Thanks for your insight!


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