CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) — Some of the biggest holidays for travel are just around the corner, and while last year the airports were nearly empty, this year is looking like a different story.
Bookings for the Thanksgiving holiday are up 35 percent from 2019, but it comes as the travel industry still feels the impacts of COVID-19.
This holiday season a faraway destination seems to be on the wishlist for many. United Airlines plans to offer 3,500 flights a day during the month of December, to respond to a 16 percent increase in holiday travel searches, compared to 2019.
“The number of folks who are excited to get out on an airplane right now and for the holidays is really rebounding quickly,” Scott Keyes, Founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights said.
However, reaching the dream vacation is going to cost you. Herb Knight regularly flies out of Bradley International for work. He said prices for things like rental cars for example have jolted.
“The car I rented just a few weeks ago was $110 a day for three days and then my business partner had to extend it a day and that was an extra $250,” Knight said.
Travel experts said you should book your trips before Halloween, or those prices could get even higher. The travel site Hopper estimates the price could go up 40 percent then. And for the last-minute bookers, it could be another 25 percent on top of that.
“I think we’re gonna see fuller flights, as we move forward in the holiday season and I would expect the availability of cheap flights for this holiday season to really start to dissipate quickly,” Keyes said.
As for COVID precautions, travelers are required to wear a mask when they’re in the airport or on the plane. Vaccines are not required to fly domestically, but a bill was filed at the end of last month in the Senate that could put that requirement in place, or proof of a recent negative COVID test.