Top 10 Holiday Air Travel Tips

@Fly_com Check out these top 10 air travel tips to help you stay sane, save big money, and enjoy your holiday travel this year.

Thanksgiving is known as the busiest US travel day of the year and December holidays follow close behind. Last year, 24 million Americans traveled over Thanksgiving week and 43 million Americans traveled during the December holidays.

Want to save big, stay sane, and enjoy your holiday travel this year?

Warren Chang, VP and general manager of, the most comprehensive online airfare search engine, has compiled his top 10 holiday travel tips

holiday travel tips

Be a Conscious Consumer: If the airline puts you on a different flight and you arrive at your destination between one to two hours after your originally scheduled arrival time (one to four hours for international destinations), the airline is required to pay you an amount equal to the one-way fare to your destination that day, up to $400 maximum and $800 for international travel.

If the airline does not make alternative arrangements for you, the airline is required to compensate you double the amount of the one-way fare to your destination.

Give Yourself a Gift: Business class fares are affordable this winter! Prices are only about double that of an economy ticket, rather than 3-4 times the economy rate as they usually are. European destinations are the best targets for this tip. (For example, flights to Paris or Frankfurt are roughly $750 in economy and just $1500 in Business Class. Later, business Class seats to Paris jump up to $2200 and $3000 for Frankfurt, while economy tickets remain the same.)

Try to Travel on Holidays: If you can, travel on actual holidays for less-crowded airports, cheaper fares – instead of the day before or day after. Travelers can expect to pay half or even less to travel.

(For example, flights from NYC to Miami are $450+ leaving the day before Thanksgiving and returning on Sunday or Monday. Traveling on Thanksgiving and returning on Tuesday will only cost you $199). If you’re not up for traveling on holidays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days of the week to travel.

Non-stop Means Non-hassle: Winter weather and crowded airports make for potential disasters when it comes to catching connecting flights. Avoid the stress and hassle by springing for the nonstop flights. Or, at least avoid layovers in cities known for inclement weather (Denver, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis). If you must take a flight with a stop, opt for warmer climates like Dallas, Miami or Los Angeles.

Wrap the Right Way…Later: Don’t bring wrapped presents to the airport. TSA agents might end up opening your gifts, instead of your intended loved ones. Save time and money by wrapping gifts once you arrive at your final destination.

Involve the In-laws: Pack less and do laundry at the homes of family members. Less carry-on luggage can save travelers up to $50 in baggage fees while also avoiding the hassle of hauling around extra luggage. (When searching on the results show baggage fees!).

Prepare Your Precious Carry-Ons: If you’re traveling with oversized items such as skis, snowboards, or golf clubs, make sure to check airline requirements and fees ahead of time to avoid surprise expenses.

Check Nearby Airports: Often larger airports due to heavy flow of passengers/aircraft have the most delays and fewest seats available. Search for airfare in smaller nearby airports to get the best deals. From Chicago fly into Washington National or Baltimore to save at least $30 on the cost flights when compared to Dulles.

Get to Grandma’s Early: There are often less delays on early morning flights as they are usually the first scheduled flights of the day. The plane is often waiting for several hours and ready to go!

Use Social Media to Save: Sites such as often offer real-time Twitter fare (@Fly_com

) and Facebook alerts ( for flights around the world.

And of course always remember, tis the season. Be polite to airline employees, especially when things go wrong. Niceness can go a long way when you experience problems.