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airline_tickets(MCT)—People planning to fly during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday should book their flights soon or face paying steeper prices or losing out on seats, according to travel experts.

Experts warn prices for tickets during the holidays will start increasing by $200 to $300 in the next few weeks.

“It’s always cheaper to book your tickets at least 21 days out. As the airlines fills up their inventory of seats, and the closer you get to your departure date, the remaining seats the airlines have available are usually priced higher,” Dayton International Airport Director Terry Slaybaugh says.

It’s not just higher prices procrastinating travelers need to worry about, it’s space on the planes.

“We had a pretty dramatic decrease in seats this summer. We were down 15,000 seats a month. We are not going to get those seats back until probably a year from now. There will be fewer seats this winter than what we were able to offer people a year ago,” Slaybaugh says.

AAA’s director of leisure travel Micki Dudas agrees that the time to book is as early as possible.

“Many travelers think that if they wait to book, they may snag a last minute deal from an airline. That may have been true in the past, but it’s not realistic anymore,” Dudas says.

Frequent flier Mike Kelly, who books his flights online, says he missed a good deal on a business trip by waiting too long.

“I saw a 25-30 percent increase when I booked a flight that I am going to be taking in two weeks. If I had gone ahead and booked just one week prior, I would have saved quite a bit of money,” Kelly says.

He says his experience shows booking early gets the cheapest ticket price.

“At least a minimum two weeks out, but I recommend a month, even two months in advance, to get the best deals,” Kelly says.

©2014 Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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