Booking Thanksgiving and Christmas flights in the summer
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Christmas is less than five months away — and while that isn’t a reality any of us are ready for, those looking for cheap Thanksgiving and Christmas flights, should start planning now.

Hopper, a travel forecasting app, reports that users who set up a flight watch in late July or early August last year saved six-times more on Thanksgiving and Christmas flights than users who waited. Thanks to a little planning ahead, Hopper users who started tracking flights early saved an average of $45 on domestic flights for Thanksgiving and $70 on Christmas flights.

In addition to saving travelers money, tracking flights ensures you don’t book too early or too late, which is key when it comes to pinning down those constantly fluctuating holiday flights. Hopper’s data team reports that Thanksgiving and Christmas flights will change over 100 times between now and the holidays.

The already volatile holiday flight market is expected to be further disrupted by the continued Boeing 737 Max groundings. Since the groundings started in March, airlines have coped by reducing the number of flights on less-popular, less-profitable routes to ensure they can continue service to major hubs, reported CNBC. If that method continues into the holiday season, those headed home for the holidays may have a harder time finding (and affording) flights into smaller airports.

“The total number of flights impacted daily will be higher as time goes on, and certainly with the holidays in November and December,” said Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz to CNBC.

Hayley Berg, an economist at Hopper told CNBC in a note that, “It’s possible that travelers planning trips at Thanksgiving and Christmas will have more difficulty finding a great deal on flights home for the holidays if there is less capacity and less carrier competition on their particular route.”