Book Holiday Flights Early

Monday, November 24th 2008, 3:49 pm
By: News 9

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- There hasn't been a drop in airfare, so customers have to shell out the cash if they want to get home.

Things are expected to pick up as we get closer to the holiday. But if you haven't already booked a flight home, a crowded airport is least of your worries.

In a few days, the Will Rogers Airport will kick into high gear accommodating passengers flying in and out for Thanksgiving.

"I'm sure we'll have some crowds, but I'm not sure how huge they're going to be because of the airline capacity cutbacks we've had this year and the economy," Will Rogers Director of Airports Mark Kranenburg said.

And that's the one thing that could affect traffic; airlines are offering fewer seats on the flights they have.

"We've lost about 15 percent of their regularly scheduled flights out of Oklahoma City," Kranenburg said.

There's also to cost to fly.

According to Expedia, the average price this year for round-trip Thanksgiving airfare is $451. That's up $55 from last year.

Prices went up over the summer due to higher fuel prices. The cost of gas is down dramatically now, but airfare isn't.

"I don't believe the airlines will drop the prices across the board, but they will put on some special deals and special rates for certain times of the year," Travel Agent Angie Hendricks with Bentley Hedges Travel said.

Hendricks said simply to book early to save. You can still book now but there is more to it.

"You can find a deal, but it's not going to be that good, it's really not, because most of the airfares have advanced purchase and now we're within seven days," Hendricks said.

There is good news if you have to get to the airport. Road construction at the entrance is just about finished.

There are also extra check-in lines inside to accommodate those who need extra help.

Travel agents said it's also time to book your bowl games if you plan on attending. They already have waiting lists for that.

And you might want to go ahead and book your Christmas flight if you haven't already. Expedia says the average Christmas airfare is up $112 over last year.