How to navigate airlines’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales

Martin Dimitrov | beautiful pictures

Airlines want to get consumers away from the mall – like thousands of miles away.

Domestic and international carriers, along with hotels and online travel agents, have joined Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday in recent years, offering low fares for the times often travel slowly. Some of these sales began long before the turkey was purchased.

Four-year-old French airline La Compagnie recently advertised $1,000 round-trip fares for flights from Newark Liberty International to Paris on its business-class planes. Icelandic low-cost carrier Wow Air is advertising flights to Europe from several US cities for as little as $100 a way.

Some airfare sales may be worth the wait for a few days after Thanksgiving. Patrick Surry, head of data science at airfare tracking app Hopper, said last year’s so-called Travel Tuesday after Thanksgiving brought in more than twice as much revenue as usual.

Travel is a great gift for those who value experiences over material things, but like shopping for a new television after Thanksgiving, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a post-Thanksgiving getaway. turkey to Paris or Aruba:

‘Don’t try to play the system’

Sell ​​tickets to and from, sometimes within hours. Airlines are operating flights more fully these days, in part due to historically low airfares, even during peak holiday periods.

George Hobica, founder of the airfare tracking website Airfarewatchdog.com, said: “Really, this peak holiday fare is similar to non-holiday fare… the high tides bring down all the flights. boats, to rephrase the old adage,” said George Hobica, founder of fare tracking website Airfarewatchdog.com.

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If you see a lot of things, the wait can be frustrating.

“Travel baggage will slip away quickly,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst and founder of the Atmospheric Research Group. “Do not try to game the system, especially with the demand environment.”

A bonus if you get cold feet: Airlines allow travelers to cancel tickets without penalty within 24 hours of purchase.

Be flexible

After summer, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year for air travel. If you can travel out of season, you’ll not only be rewarded with good airfare, but also better hotel rates, a spot on the beach or access to cultural institutions without having to use to the usual selfie stick -the security guards.

Or, treat yourself or your loved one to some lonely place. Alaska Airlines, which is selling tickets starting Black Friday, said nearly 70 percent of the tickets it sold on Cyber ​​Monday last year were for solo travel.

Another thing to consider is that demand for certain destinations may be higher than usual. Thousands of visitors were forced to halt trips in August, September and October to the Caribbean and Florida when a series of deadly storms hit the region. JetBlue said it will move service out of Puerto Rico this winter to other destinations, possibly including more room to Florida or other Caribbean destinations, as Puerto Rico struggles to rebuild.

Track airfares. You may not even see the best deals

Travelers may not even see the best airfares if they just check the sales pages of the airlines’ websites. Airfares can change by the minute, depending on demand. Because not all airfares are advertised as Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday discounts, or any other sale, some travelers may miss out on fares altogether. Services like Hopper and Google Flights allow travelers to track airfares and sign up for alerts when prices drop. Keep in mind that Hopper doesn’t include airline tickets from Delta or Southwest, which restricts some online travel sites from accessing their feeds.

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“They may be selling off inventory,” Hopper’s Surry said.

Hopper allows travelers to look up a region or destinations if they’re not sure where they want to go.

Hobica recommends checking airlines’ Twitter and Facebook feeds for discounts. All-inclusive trips, which include a flight and hotel, will come with significant airfare discounts, he added.

Especially outside the airport

Airlines don’t just hawk goods on their planes. American Airlines is offering members of its frequent flyer program, AAdvantage, the chance to earn up to 50,000 miles on spending with partners including Hilton and Avis. United Airlines has said it will increase the number of miles it offers to Mileage Plus members for gift cards they purchase through its website, as well as a discount on the miles needed to travel. purchase items, such as Apple electronics, through the airline’s website.

WATCH: 3.95 million people will fly over Thanksgiving weekend

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