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Time to book holiday vacations, travel agents in Oklahoma City area say

Airfares are either up or flat this year and airlines plan to pack flights full, making seating limited. Travel agents say book now for the best selection and fare.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: September 15, 2012

Summer vacation is over and travelers are beginning to set their sights on the holidays.

Cost-savvy consumers would be wise to book now, travel industry experts say. Fares are either up or flat in most cases and airlines are planning to pack planes to capacity, similar to last year.

The majority of travel agents advise booking holiday travel six months or more before departure, according to a recent survey by Travel Leaders Group. Thanksgiving is less than three months away.

Fares increase

Oklahoma City fares increased 8.8 percent in the first quarter compared to the same time period last year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Overall, U.S. fares were up nearly 4.8 percent.

And airlines have been stingy with discounts.

“Fares are going to stay high and airlines are going to squeeze every bit of capacity they can,” said Karen Carney, spokeswoman for Will Rogers World Airport. “Travelers are going to have to shop around.”

One way to save is for travelers to be flexible about their travel dates. Karney said more travelers have been willing to fly on Christmas Day, for instance.

Full flights

Southwest Airlines' fares are comparable to last year and the airline did not increase capacity this year, said spokesman Chris Mainz.

The company had record full flights in August and that could continue through the end of the year.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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We have limited availability out of Oklahoma. If you plan to fly anywhere during Christmas, you need to do it now.”

Bonnie HedgesVice president of sales and marketing for Travel Leaders/Bentley Hedges Travel


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