Updated: Friday, 05 Nov 2010, 7:49 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 05 Nov 2010, 7:49 AM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - You'll want to pack your patience if you plan on traveling this Thanksgiving.
The airline industry anticipates more passengers for the holiday, and that could mean higher fares if you haven't booked a flight already.
The Air Transport Association expects 24 million Americans will take flight during the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday period. That would be 3.5 percent more than last year.
While the industry group welcomes the uptick as a sign that travel is on the rebound in a tough economy, passengers may not be as thrilled.
Analysts list farecompare.com have already seen a double digit year-over-year increase in air fares, and don't anticipate any drops ahead for the holiday season. A survey by discount travel site Priceline finds Thanksgiving fares at their highest levels since 2007.
For the best fares and easiest travel, avoid the busiest days. The ATA expects November 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, to have the greatest volume.
If it fits with your places, consider a flight on Thanksgiving Day, expected to be the least busy of the travel period.
Airlines already anticipate Thanksgiving flights to be at 90 percent capacity or greater, so don't bank on a last-minute deal.
If you have time, consider a connecting fight. Nonstops are more convenient, more popular and at peak times can be more expensive.
Pack light. Don't forget about those extra baggage fees that can add up very quickly.
Remember to sign up to follow your favorite airlines on Twitter, or friend them on Facebook, they'll often have exclusive sales on social networking sites.