Thanksgiving Day Flight Deals


Thanksgiving Day Flight Deals

Fly hassle-free this Thanksgiving by reserving your flights in advance

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As summer transitions to fall, it's the perfect time to start planning your holiday trips, especially if you're looking for budget-friendly Thanksgiving flights. Flying during the holiday season can be costly, but with some smart planning and flexibility, you can still snag affordable Thanksgiving flights, even if you've missed the September booking window. In 2023, we're seeing more last-minute deals than usual, so there's hope.

Here's a simple guide to Thanksgiving travel in 2023.

When is Thanksgiving in 2023?

Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 23, 2023.

How Thanksgiving Travel Differs in 2023

This year, procrastinators have an advantage. Typically, the best time to find cheap flights is 2-6 months in advance for international travel and 1-3 months in advance for domestic travel. However, during peak holiday times like Thanksgiving, prices rise if you don't book well in advance.

As Thanksgiving approaches, finding affordable flights becomes trickier, especially if your travel dates and destinations are inflexible. By early September, the window for cheap Thanksgiving flights starts closing, and prices tend to increase about three weeks before Thanksgiving.

But, 2023 is different. We're witnessing more last-minute deals, thanks to airlines having more empty seats and competing aggressively to fill them. While we still recommend booking early when possible, you might have some leeway this year.

Best Value for Thanksgiving Travel Deals: International Destinations

Thanksgiving travel dynamics differ for international and domestic trips. Domestically, many Americans visit their families during Thanksgiving, driving up demand and prices. For international flights, however, it's often an excellent time to find affordable fares. Airlines lower prices to attract passengers flying to destinations like Paris, Cancun, and Barcelona.

International flights become pricier closer to mid-December during Christmas and New Year's. But by the end of November, airlines still need to fill seats on international routes. Thanksgiving is a great time for international travel, with many children having a long weekend or even a full week off school. Europe, in particular, is a fantastic Thanksgiving destination, offering Christmas markets and pleasant fall weather. Additionally, many international destinations offer deals not only on flights but also on hotels, car rentals, and activities.

In 2023, these trends are even more pronounced. Airlines have excess capacity, international travel hasn't fully rebounded, and destinations are less crowded, resulting in lower prices and better deals.

Possible Cancellations and Delays

Expect delays and long lines during your holiday trip. Staff shortages across the travel industry, from airlines to car rental agencies, can lead to disruptions. Some airlines may reduce flights due to decreased demand, potentially impacting your schedule. However, if the airline significantly alters your flight, you may be eligible for a full refund. Booking with credit cards offering travel protection can provide additional coverage in such situations.

Hotel and Car Rental Prices

Car rental prices soared in the summer but have since returned to pre-pandemic levels. Even during Thanksgiving, car rental rates remain reasonable. Hotel prices have largely recovered from their 2020 lows and are now similar to pre-pandemic rates, with some markets offering even lower prices.

Tips for Finding Cheap Thanksgiving Flights

  1. Book 21, 14, or 7 days in advance if possible.
  2. Use Google Flights' flexible date search to find the cheapest travel days.
  3. Be flexible with your destination.
  4. Consider flying early in the morning or late at night for cheaper fares.
  5. Check alternative airports within driving distance.
  6. Explore hidden city tickets for potential savings.
  7. For international travel, book a round-trip flight to a major hub and then a separate regional flight or alternative transportation to your final destination.

Thanksgiving Travel Destinations for 2023

Whether you want to stay in the US or explore international destinations, here are some Thanksgiving travel ideas:

Domestic Travel:

Las Vegas: Enjoy 24/7 excitement and mild weather.

Napa Valley: Experience wine country with beautiful autumn foliage.

New York City: Witness the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting.

International Travel:

Germany: Explore Christmas markets starting in late November.

Argentina: Enjoy mild spring weather, tango, and wine in Buenos Aires and Mendoza.

Namibia: Experience wildlife viewing with flamingos gathering in Swakopmund.

Pro Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

  • Fly early in the morning or late in the evening for less crowded flights.
  • Arrive at the airport early to account for long lines and possible delays.
  • Bring extra masks and hand sanitizers, as they are required at airports and on planes.
  • Pack light and opt for carry-on luggage to avoid baggage claim waits.
  • Consider overbooked flights as an opportunity to earn compensation.
  • Use credit cards with travel protection for added security.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is Thanksgiving in the United States?

A. Thanksgiving in the United States is a time to come together and celebrate gratitude. It falls on the fourth Thursday of November each year, typically between November 23 and November 29. Make sure to mark your calendar!

Q. Are there flights available on Thanksgiving Day?

A. Absolutely! Many airlines offer flights on Thanksgiving Day, allowing you to reach your destination conveniently. However, remember that availability can vary, so it's advisable to book your tickets in advance to secure your travel plans.

Q. Should I book Thanksgiving flights in advance?

A. Yes, without a doubt! Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times in the United States, and prices tend to rise as the holiday draws near. To ensure the best deals and peace of mind, it's highly recommended to book your Thanksgiving flights well in advance.

Q. What are the best days to travel on Thanksgiving?

A. If you wish to avoid crowds and snag better deals, consider traveling on Thanksgiving Day itself or during the following Friday or Saturday. The days before Thanksgiving (Tuesday and Wednesday) and the Sunday after are typically the busiest, so plan accordingly for a smoother journey.

Q. How can I earn Emirates Skywards Miles as a Business Class passenger?

A. As an Emirates Business Class passenger, you can earn Emirates Skywards Miles based on the distance traveled and the fare class of your ticket. You can also earn miles through partner airlines, hotels, car rentals, and other Emirates Skywards partners. These miles can be redeemed for a variety of benefits, including flights, upgrades, and more.

Q. When is the best time to book Thanksgiving flights at the lowest prices?

A. To secure the lowest prices for your Thanksgiving flights, aim to book several weeks or even months in advance. Prices tend to increase as the holiday approaches, so early planning can save you money.