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Farecast's Holiday Forecast Reveals When to Buy and Fly This Season

Avoiding the popular Friday or Saturday Christmas departure could save you over $90 per ticket

SEATTLE, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fareologists at Farecast.com, the smart travel search site, today offered tips for consumers to know when to buy and fly this holiday season. To get the best price this season, data reveals that for Thanksgiving, being flexible with the return date has the biggest impact on price. For December Holiday travel, focusing on the date of departure could save you more money. Avoiding the popular Friday or Saturday Christmas departure could save you over $90 per ticket.

Know When to Fly This Holiday Season

Consumers who know when to fly can save big bucks this holiday season. For Thanksgiving 2007, data reveals that the best deals are starting to dwindle, but flexibility with return dates can offer some great deals for consumers. Travelers who extend their trip to return on Monday or Tuesday can save $60-$100 per ticket.

For Christmas, focusing on your date of departure could yield the best potential savings.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070918/AQTU127)

"During 2006, Christmas itineraries saw price drops in early October between $60-90, so watch and track your trip with alerts over the next few weeks, as they could go fast," said John Rauser, a Farecast's Fareologist. "Prices during the holiday are extremely volatile. Currently fares are between 3-7 percent higher than last year and we will be watching closely to see if they continue to make a steady climb, or dip over the next several weeks."

Know When to Buy Holiday Travel

Knowing when to buy can save you equal amounts of cash this holiday. Watching airfares and buying when prices are low can save you between $20 and $100 on most trips. For example, the lowest price for a trip from Newark, NJ to Jacksonville, FL on Sept. 22 last year was $259 and by Sept. 27 it has fallen to $238. On Oct. 3 it spiked to $289, before falling back to $235 on Oct. 15. On Nov. 1, the price jumped to nearly $290 and would fall below $275 on only a few occasions before the flight departed on Dec. 21. By knowing when to buy and setting up a Farecast alert for your trip, you could have locked in that low $235 price.

Farecast's Holiday Forecast also offers the following tips for 2007 holiday travel:

-- Expect to Pay More this Thanksgiving: Currently, fares for the 2007 Thanksgiving holiday are 3-7 percent more expensive than last year and the price decreases we saw last year in early September have not recurred this year. For travelers who are hoping to head home for the Thanksgiving holiday, booking now may offer the best savings. -- Be Flexible to Maximize Savings: For Thanksgiving, return date flexibility offers the biggest impact on price. For Christmas, you will save more money by shifting your outbound travel date. Specifically avoiding the popular Friday or Saturday before Christmas departure days can save approximately $60-90 per ticket. Avoiding the return day before New Year's can save you $25 on average. -- Watch October for Christmas Holiday Price Drops: During 2006, many Christmas itineraries saw price drops on October 1 and October 14-15. Avoid the Friday or Saturday departure, and watch prices through mid-October to see if these sales repeat. Data suggests there are 50 percent more price drops during the holidays than other times of the year so alerts are critical to catch elusive deals.

Farecast's Holiday Predictions utilized historical prices for 2,000 popular routes focusing on Christmas and Thanksgiving trips lasting between 2 and 8 days. Farecast Fareologists are tracking holiday fares daily and you can set up alerts, or get free airfare predictions for your holiday travel at http://www.farecast.com/.

Farecast Airfare Predictions

Unlike any other travel website, Farecast.com saves online travel shoppers money with an airfare prediction for their specific trip. In April 2006, Navigant Consulting tested over 44,000 airfare predictions confirming that Farecast's predictions are 74.5% accurate, and that travelers purchasing two tickets could save an average of $55 by using Farecast's airfare predictions. The company's patented airfare prediction shows whether the lowest fares for their trip are rising or dropping. Farecast.com also provides expected price movements, confidence levels, historical prices and buying tips when customers search for flights. To learn more about Farecast's proprietary airfare prediction, see the Our Technology page of Farecast.com.

Farecast Hotel Search and Rate Key (Beta)

Farecast's Hotel Rate Key helps consumers know at a glance if the current rate for a hotel is a deal or not a deal. The initial beta version utilizes historical rates and offer Hotel Rate Keys for over 5,000 hotels in 30 major cities across the country for up to 90 days in the future. Farecast builds the unbiased Hotel Rate Key on science, not marketing. Farecast's Hotel Rate Key compares the individual hotel's current rates to its past rates observed for:

-- The same travel dates (e.g. past rates found for a stay on September 21-23) -- Other travel dates on the same days of the week (e.g. other Friday - Sunday stays) -- A Rate Key showing a "Deal" indicates today's rate is lower than past rates for that hotel.

In addition to its unique Hotel Rate Key beta, Farecast.com now offers consumers the ability to shop more than 80,000 hotels in thousands of cities worldwide. Farecast Hotels offers a clean interface with useful tools to help consumers find the best hotel for their needs.

About Farecast

Farecast.com is the smart travel search site that helps you buy with confidence. Launched in 2006, Farecast.com empowers you to know when to buy with airfare predictions and know where to stay with hotel rate keys. Farecast is one of Travel + Leisure's Top 25 Websites, received Budget Travel's 2007 Extra Mile Award, PC World's 20 Most Innovative Products, "Best of What's New" by Popular Science, TIME Magazine's "50 Coolest Websites" and one of the "Best Trip Planning Tools" by Business Week readers. Farecast is headquartered in Seattle, WA. Buy travel smarter at http://www.farecast.com/.

Media Contact: Anne Taylor Hartzell 206.850.6501 anne@farecast.com Spark PR for Farecast: Jacqueline Tanzella 415.321.1889 jacqueline@sparkpr.com

Farecast

CONTACT: Anne Taylor Hartzell of Farecast, +1-206-850-6501,
anne@farecast.com; or Jacqueline Tanzella of Spark PR, +1-415-321-1889,
jacqueline@sparkpr.com, for Farecast

Web site: http://www.farecast.com/

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