Travel Experts: Book Holiday Travel Now - WBAY

Travel Experts: Book Holiday Travel Now


Travel experts say holiday airfare is booking up fast.

This year, they say, you'll probably need a few extra dollars.

"If I could look into a crystal ball and figure that out, I probably wouldn't have to work anymore," Rose Gray said, the manager of business development at Fox World Travel.

For the time being, she'll keep her day job.

"Big airlines have huge teams that look at the inventory on an hourly basis," she said. "That's how quickly it can change."

Consolidations and mergers have generally driven prices up.

Nationwide, Travelocity reports Christmas airfare is up about 7.5% over last year.

In Milwaukee, Travelocity reports an average 14.7% increase in Christmas outbound tickets compared to 2012.

But the company found a 3.8% decrease in Green Bay and a 4.4% decrease in Appleton compared to 2012.

"There are still some reasonable fares out there," Abe Weber said, airport director at Outagamie County Regional Airport.

For those that haven't booked holiday travel yet, Gray said, "Well they should book. Now would be good."

Gray says the old thought, that the longer you wait the better prices you see, doesn't typically work.

"Because there are fewer and fewer airlines," she said. "And because many of them have cut back on some of their routes, you won't see empty seats very often and you certainly won't see them around the holidays."

Molly Smiltneek is looking beyond the holidays in Oshkosh and booking her family's next vacation to visit her parents in Mexico.

"It's going across the country, and I'd say in general it's gone up a couple hundred dollars per ticket."

As many travelers look for deals online, the airports are actively lobbying the airlines, too.

"We have meetings with airlines on a fairly regular basis and try to explain to them they could generate more revenue for themselves if they could make the fare a little bit lower," Tom Miller said, airport director at Austin Straubel International Airport.

Travel experts say all indications in the near future point to more rising fares.

But Gray wants you to remember this one little tip:

"A conventional wisdom is still in play when it says airline tickets are their lowest on Tuesdays," she said. "Isn't that a unique concept?"

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