SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - If you're thinking about a Thanksgiving or Christmas flight for fun or a family visit, fasten your pocketbook. This year, there's a very real spike in fares, Christmas or Thanksgiving that could leave you cold turkey.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the nation's busiest travel weeks and airlines mean to make bank from it.
Carol Feiner, owner of the Airport Travel Agency at SFO reviewed the fares.
"I checked and the fares are pretty high this year. I was a little surprised myself. For example, well Thanksgiving is the worst because there are so few travel days that people want to use. New York, for example: $1,000 for a round trip. Now, the published fare is $400. What you're gonna find is probably closer to $1,100," says Feiner.
Passengers are not pleased. "If I were going to the East Coast, maybe $600, $700 would be my limit. I generally don't travel during the holidays of all the reasons; whether its price or the crazy chaos that's at the airport," says Ingrid Hafnerdagostin.
"I go to Brazil every year, I try to go. And, you know, this year it's become very hard for me. With family, it's almost impossible because there's so much money those companies are charging," says Sergio Silva.
Immediately after Thanksgiving week, fares will drop up until Christmas week, then skyrocket again.
"They do it because they can. Same thing, like Hawaii. If you're gonna go over Christmas, it can be as much as $2,500 roundtrip," says Feiner.
One possibility: non-stop flights are more expensive that connecting flights. If seats are available, you could save if you're willing to make one or more stops on the way. But, act fast. "The closer you get to the travel time, more and more expensive," says Feiner.
If these higher than normal airfares do not sell, the airlines will lower them. So, if they seem way too high right now, keep checking.