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Our holiday travel advice to you:  Book Now.

Flights for the 2010 holiday travel season are already expensive – and it’s only going to get worse.  In a statement released by the Air Transport Association yesterday, it’s estimated that 24 million travelers will fly during the 12-day period surrounding Thanksgiving, with daily passenger volume up 3.5 percent over last year.  The surging demand – coupled with the fact that there’s simply fewer seats available – is making fares more expensive, and more quickly than normal.  Prices are already trending 18% higher this year compared to last year at this time.

Those who wait around until the last minute to pull the trigger on their flight arrangements, will be the ones biting a serious financial bullet.    You’ll save a lot of money simply by booking as early as possible – and then tracking your price with Yapta.  In the event that the price does drop, Yapta will let you know when you can re-book your ticket at the lower available rate and get credited for the difference.

Dispair not tracker-slackers (def. those that track pricing on multiple flights, but for whatever reason can never bring themselves to actually book a flight), there’s still hope for you:

You may still find reasonably priced flights for the Thanksgiving holiday on November 22, 23, 25 (Thanksgiving Day) and 30.  The best days to fly over the Christmas holiday are December 20, 21, 24 (Christmas Eve), 28, 29, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.   (Sunday Nov. 28th will be the busiest day during the Thanksgiving period, defined as Friday, Nov. 19th through Tuesday, Nov. 30th.  Second-busiest is expected to be Monday, Nov. 29th followed by Friday, Nov. 19th, and Wednesday, Nov. 24th.  Avoid these dates wherever possible.)

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • If the New York Jets win this year’s Super Bowl, customers of JetBlue and MasterCard will refund select one-way and roundtrip flights.  Flights must be booked Nov. 1 or 2 and must originate from LaGuardia, Newark or John F. Kennedy (JFK) airports and travel must be completed Dec. 1-31.  Considering that some online betting sites (that will remain unnamed) recently laid 7 to 1 odds that the New York Jets would win the Super Bowl, it’s a interesting gamble. (JetBlue also recently painted an Airbus A320 green in honor of the New York Jets.)
  • According to the website for U.S. News & World Report, Delta Air Lines is the worst of the major airlines based on factors like on-time arrivals, mishandled baggage, passenger bumping, and overall customer satisfaction.  Delta scored the lowest with the most delays and passenger complaints, followed by United, Alaska, and American.  Hawaiian ranked as the best, followed by AirTran.
  • The blue skies are getting greener thanks to a new inflight beverage option from American Airlines.  As of November 1, the airline will be serving Java City coffee, which is 100 percent Rainforest Alliance Certified.  In order to achieve Rainforest Alliance Certification, companies must ensure that their farming practices protect the environment, including native wildlife, while keeping local communities and workers best interests in mind.