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Updated Aug 29, 2013 - 6:19 am

Syrian conflict could push up US holiday airfares

PHOENIX -- If you're booking a flight for Thanksgiving, it might be a good idea to do it soon.

KTAR travel expert Louie Thiele said there could be some Thanksgiving price wars among airlines starting next month. On top of the usual war, there could be a "fly in the ointment, and that has to do with all of the activity going on in the middle east and the price of oil."

Thiele said the crisis in Syria could lead to higher fuel costs and that may affect any Thanksgiving airline deals. If you book your airline flights now, you could avoid paying higher prices because of fuel.

Booking now could also save you some other headaches. Thiele said it's easier to get the flight you want leaving Phoenix than it is coming back because some travelers leaving town may do it as early as the weekend prior to Thanksgiving and there may be a greater selection of flights leaving town.

Coming back may be different. Thiele said most people will be trying to fly back on either Friday or Saturday, and that could make it tougher for you to get a flight. If you try to book a Sunday flight, you will be competing with business travelers who will be trying to get to their destinations on time to get to work on Monday.

Theile said one way you may be able to save money is by booking a connecting flight to your destination instead of a direct one.

"Connections are almost always cheaper than non-stops," he said. "Also, the earlier flights of the day are usually the least expensive. People don't want to get up for a 6 a.m. flight, but it can usually save you about $100 each way."

Theile also said you may be able to find deals on travel websites like kayak.com.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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