No Virginia, it's not too late to book your last-minute holiday airline tickets. Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) reported that Christmas/New Year airline tickets are still available, and that the current average airfare booked by priceline.com customers is $415. Last year at this time, the average holiday airfare was $417.
"We're still seeing availability for holiday tickets at affordable prices, even at this late date," said Priceline Senior Travel Analyst Brian Ek. "For the lowest fares, try flying on Christmas Day, New Years Eve or New Years Day."
Priceline.com maintains a Best Days To Fly For The Holidays calendar that shows, by day, what the fares are like from your home to your destination. To see this year's Best Days To Fly calendar, and to access Priceline's Name Your Own Price(R) airline ticketing service, visit: http://travela.priceline.com/promo/deals/winter_holidays/flights.html.
Ek also had some additional tips to help find cheaper airfare and keep those travel costs down after the airfare is booked.
* Pick times of the day that are normally less busy. Time of day is important. Travelers will find the most affordable seats departing early in the morning (5-7 a.m.) or late evening (after 8 p.m.). Mid-day (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.) is a bit more expensive, but still reasonable. Most expensive are the peak business travel hours (8-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.).
* Weigh and measure your baggage. Check your airline's maximum requirements for checked and carry-on bags to make sure you won't incur extra fees. Fees can be up to $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second. Note: baggage fees are charged separately for your outbound and return flights.
About The Priceline Group of Companies
The Priceline Group of Companies (Nasdaq: PCLN) is a leader in global online hotel reservations, with approximately 61 million room nights booked in 2009. The Group is composed of four primary brands - Booking.com, priceline.com, Agoda.com and TravelJigsaw. The Priceline Group provides online travel services in 38 languages in 100 countries in Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Based in Amsterdam, Booking.com is a leading international online hotel reservation service operating in 92 countries in 38 languages. Booking.com offers its customers access to over 105,000 participating hotels worldwide.
In the U.S., priceline.com gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com's famous Name Your Own Price(R) service, which can deliver the lowest prices available. Priceline.com also operates the following travel websites: Travelweb.com, Lowestfare.com, RentalCars.com and BreezeNet.com.
Singapore-based Agoda.com is an Asian online hotel reservation service that offers hotel rooms around the world and is available in 32 languages. With headquarters in Manchester, UK, TravelJigsaw is a multinational car hire service, offering its reservation services in more than 4,000 locations in 80 countries. Customer support is provided in 20 languages.