If you haven’t booked your Thanksgiving flights yet, the tickets may cost you a little bit more this year. And the lingering efforts of Hurricane Sandy could be the reason. During the storm period, airlines grounded thousands of flights, causing them to lose revenue. In order to make up their losses, carriers might have to raise airfares.
Holiday travel prices were already expected to be most costly this year. “The average round-trip domestic airfare will be 4 percent to 9 percent higher than a year ago,” reports Tulsa World.
United Airlines just announced that Sandy caused its October revenue to be cut by about $90 million and profit by $35 million because the carrier was forced to cancel nearly 5,300 flights. Traffic in October fell 3.3 percent. “That’s nearly an entire day’s worth of United’s schedule lost. It runs about 5,500 flights a day throughout the world, including those operated by its regional partners,” reports The Chicago Tribune.
Delta, too, was affected, and according to the Trib, the hurricane cut its October revenue by $45 million and profit by $20 million. Both airlines expect the negative impact of Sandy to continue through the month of November.
There are still a few deals to be found, Courtney Scott, senior editor of the online travel website Travelocity tells Tulsa World. According to Scott, the average round-trip domestic airfare this Thanksgiving is $386, including tax—but you can do better. How? Don’t travel when everyone else is. “If you can adjust your travel dates, you can save as much as $288 on your Thanksgiving airfare. We recommend leaving on Thanksgiving Day and returning home on Friday, Nov. 23, or Tuesday, Nov. 27, to see the most savings and avoid the crowds at the airports,” Scott explains to Tulsa World.