Flying around Thanksgiving and Christmas is typically the most stressful time of the year to be in the skies, both because of the volume of people in the airports and the egregious ticket prices. Since demand is so high to travel over the days preceding and following the holiday, airlines can get away with robbery.
But loads (and demands) are less strenuous during the holidays themselves; people want to be home with their families over the duration and not stuck in some snowstorm in Chicago. So if you’re really tight on cash but want to get home at least for the day to see mom and dad, try flying the day OF Christmas or Thanksgiving instead of the day before.
Perfect example: I want to fly from O’hare to DC to see my estranged Uncle Barish and drop off his fruit cake. Flying from the 21st (Friday) to the 26th will cost 200$. But if I fly from the 24th to the 25th its 150$.
I know, flying for such a short duration is tough. But if you’re a broke college student (or need an excuse to get back to your friends at home), you can always save a couple of bucks this way.