Holiday air travel offers higher fares but protection

8:54 PM, Dec 9, 2013   |    comments
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SAINT LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Last minute Holiday air travelers should be prepared to pay a premium for flights and pack their patience. Travel experts say there are more reasonable fares available, but only on certain days.

AAA Minneapolis Vice President for Travel Wendy Weigel checked out air fares from Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport on Monday morning. She found some fly-able fares, understanding the demand at this time of year.

"The best days, actually, the best day, to travel is Christmas morning or Christmas Day," said Weigel. "If you can travel on that day, returning five or six  days later before the New Year's Holiday.

"We checked some pricing for Las Vegas. You can do on Christmas Day for $376 and you can go into San Diego for $399. Pheonix is $500, so, good pricing on those dates considering it is a holiday period."

Weigel pointed out that airlines are flying more fuel-efficient aircraft, which are smaller and flying fuller with fewer seats available.

As for the Holiday Hassle of flying over Christmas and New Years', new federal rules in recent years have offered more protections for passengers. They are detailed at the U.S. Government website. Click here to be linked to the website.

Those protections include limits on how long airlines can leave passengers in planes stranded on the airport tarmac. No such event is to continue for longer than 3 hours, unless the delay is caused by safety, security concerns or air traffic control issues.

Airlines are liable for reimburse passengers "bumped" from flights because of overbooking. The amounts to be paid toward the passengers has been increased to as much as twice the air fare of the flight.

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