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Experts: Try these 3 tips to save on holiday air travel

Book holiday air travel plans several months in

Book holiday air travel plans several months in advance of departure, experts say. Credit: Getty Images/Joshua Lott

Some things you can put off. But if you want to save money on holiday travel this season, get moving.

“Book your airline ticket now. You want to book airline tickets two to three months in advance of travel,” says Chris Lopinto, president and co-founder of ExpertFlyer.com, an airline travel information website based in Patchogue.

Strategize: If you’re traveling with more than one person, first check the airfare for just one person.  Write down the price.  Then check it for two or more passengers.  See if the fares are the same. If there is only one inexpensive ticket and you search for two or more, your search will not uncover the lower fare ticket.

What to do?  “Book one ticket at the lower fare and one at the higher fare.  Call the airline and have the two records ‘linked’.  The airline will put a note in each record to reference the other to identify you as travel companions,” says Lopinto.

Pick your days carefully: Book your return flight on a day that is not the Sunday when everyone is traveling. This will save money and hassles.  Know too, flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas is often cheaper. Christmas this year falls on a Tuesday.

“You can save 10 to 40 percent if you book your flight for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, instead of Friday or Sunday,” says Lee Abbamonte, a Manhattan travel expert.

Consider alternate airports: Travel site Hipmunk.com researched which airport in major metropolitan areas is historically the least expensive for Thanksgiving. Says content manager Kelly Soderlund, “Flying into/out of LaGuardia saves 31 percent over JFK, with a median booking price of $416. Median booking prices for the other two airports: JFK was $602 and Newark $452.”

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