It's Not Too Late to Score a Great Deal on Thanksgiving Flights — Here's When to Book

This could be the year for last-minute deals, but don't wait too much longer.

The most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching. Which means the time to book the most stressful travel of the year is already here. But even if you're only considering your Thanksgiving travel plans at the same time you're scrambling to put together a last-minute Halloween costume, it's not too late to score a great deal.

Flight analysts from Scott's Cheap Flights have put together a guide to scoring the best deal on your Thanksgiving flights this year. Although, typically, the best time to book is one to three months in advance of your domestic travel, this year, procrastinators may have a bit of an advantage.

"In general, we are seeing many more last-minute-ish fares than we have in years past," according to the guide. This is due, in great part, to the pandemic and many people's reluctance to board a flight this November. Although demand for travel has bounced back from March 2020, it's still not yet at pre-pandemic levels. And so, several routes are selling for much cheaper than normal this year.

The Scott's team found non-stop flights between Las Vegas and Chicago for only $98 round trip (usually this route can be $300 or more for Thanksgiving travel). Travel between New Orleans and Miami or Fort Lauderdale can be found for a remarkable $65 (usually more than $275).

Security lines at Denver International Airport are long but moving fast, November 26, 2014. The airport was busy with thanksgiving travelers.
RJ Sangosti/Getty Images

But these deals definitely won't last — the sooner you book, the better. Generally for Thanksgiving travel, you want to book in early September for the best deals. Although it's not too late to book, if you keep delaying, prices will only increase. Once we hit the period three weeks before Thanksgiving, prices will soar.

Even if your procrastinator skills are in full force, bear in mind this final piece of advice: airlines are most likely to increase flight prices seven, 14, and 21 days before travel. So if you've been watching a flight, set a reminder for these days and try to book before they hit.

And hey, even if you dropped the ball on Thanksgiving flights, consider this your reminder to book winter holiday travel ASAP.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at

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