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Thanksgiving airfares expected to be sky high

PHOENIX -- If you plan to travel for Thanksgiving and haven't already booked your airline ticket, good luck finding a seat or a bargain.

KTAR travel expert Kari Mollan said airfares will be up by about 15 percent from last Thanksgiving and the only shot you have of finding a bargain is if you're willing to travel on Thanksgiving morning.

"If you don't mind taking a red-eye, look at the flights that leave at 1 [a.m.]," she said. "This is a great time to cash in frequent flyer miles."

Mollan said travelers won't be catching a break on prices over Christmas.

"With the holiday landing smack dab in the middle of the week this year, a lot of people are flying Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday and that is making it a challenge to find available seats."

Mollan said there's not a major reason, such as a war or even the government shutdown, for the ticket hikes. The airlines have a much simpler motivation.

"Because they can. People are feeling better about the economy and they want to travel and the airlines will charge a premium. Granted they will use the excuse that they're losing money but they are making a considerable profit."

Mollan said one of the best bargains out there right now is a cruise vacation.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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