Many inexpensive last minute holiday airfares do exist

You’ve probably noticed the stories about how airfares have dropped and air traffic is down. Two weeks ago, I flew from Copenhagen to Columbus on two airplanes that were not full. The Continental flight from Copenhagen to Newark was empty enough that most people had seats between them.

The flight from Newark to Columbus was even more roomy. The row in front of my daughter and me was empty, and we had that hoped for seat between us as well.

With less people flying that means more competition to entice passengers to fly. My mom is heading to New York City for the holidays. This past May, she took the bus because of gas prices and soaring airline costs. Her ticket plane ticket would have cost almost $400 at the time.

She thought about the bus again until last night when I searched for airplane tickets on a whim. There were several options for a $166 airfare when I used the variable date function. Delta and Northwest were the least expensive flights, but the flight she wanted was on Delta to LaGuardia which she prefers over JFK. Flights into Newark, at least the ones I saw, were more expensive.

Not only was she able to score a flight to the airport of choice, she also was able to get flights that are direct and leave at the times she preferred. At first, it looked like she’d have to leave at 6 a.m., but after going to another day of departure, an early afternoon flight to New York appeared. She also wanted to book a return flight later in the day than what originally appeared. Again, further looking found the exact flight out of LaGuardia.

After using Travelocity to find choices, I went directly to Delta’s web site to book the ticket. The amazing detail is that she’s leaving on Monday, just days from booking the ticket. Cheap flights so close to departure used to be unheard of.

So, if you’re thinking of going somewhere for the holidays, look into flying. It may be far less expensive than you thought. These are the days of deals. To find the best ones, look for flights during the week. My mom is flying out on a Monday and back on a Wednesday. In this case, the direct flights were less than the flights that went through another airport. I am amazed.