American and other major airlines have dropped advance purchase restrictions through the holidays.
“It’s a perishable commodity,” Smith said.
Jim Strong with Strong Travel in Dallas confirmed that reduced fares were available Thursday that were not there the day before.
“Bookings are soft and the airlines are looking to fill those seats,” Strong said.
Part of the reason for last minute deals is that business travelers who typically pay full fare for last minute seats stay home through the holidays.
For an American Airlines flight from DFW to New York LaGuardia leaving Dec. 24 and returning Dec. 28, Strong found a fare of $546 on Thursday. He said booking the same flight would have cost $1875 the day before. The lowest advance purchase fare for that flight would have been $309.
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Strong said most other major airlines have also waived advance purchase rules, but many popular times and dates may already be sold out and flexible travel planning may be necessary to take advantage of remaining deals.
“There is availability and there are options available to the traveler,” Strong said.