Thanksgiving Airfare Up 10%

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On Tuesday, MainStreet Deputy Managing Editor Kali Geldis was lamenting the cost (and subsequent loss) of her holiday travel. A round-trip ticket to her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, for Thanksgiving would set her back $350. Last year, the roundtrip ticket cost $250. Needless to say, she’ll be eating turkey in New York City this year.

We weren’t surprised when this USA Today article confirmed that Kali wasn’t the only person facing fare increases for flights in November. According to online agency Travelocity, the average domestic airfare over the Thanksgiving holiday is $384 round trip, up 10% compared with last year.

We feel obligated to point out that Kali’s now non-existent plane ride actually costs 40% more than it did last year. Some travelers, the article says, could end up paying as much as $170 more than last year a ticket if they fly out the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and return on Sunday, as opposed to shifting their itinerary by a couple of days.

According to travel experts, airlines have been able to increase fares this year because the demand for seats has increased.

Unfortunately, the uptick in business hasn’t led the airlines to add a significant number of seats. The number of domestic seats has increased by just 2% this year.

"Typically when airlines see heavy demand" they add flights, Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, told USA Today. "They've been very reluctant to do that, because they really don't know what's going to happen in the next six months in the general economy and in travel.”

So, for the time being, it seems that Kali is out of luck. MainStreet staff writer Seth Fiegerman has proposed we create a “Send Kali Home Fund.” So far the jar has 38 cents. Well, Kali, at least you’ll be able to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

If you’re spending so much on your plane ticket home, you might as well try to sneak into first class. Check out this article to find out how!

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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