Grinch

Have you noticed that it’s more expensive to travel this holiday season, compared to last year?  Well, you’re right.  Not only does it cost more to fly to most destinations this holiday travel season, but the deals and the flights are extremely limited.

The cost of the average domestic flights between Dec. 16 and Jan. 1 is already 5% higher than last year, while international airfares are up 6%.  Over New Year’s Eve weekend, domestic airfares are up 6% and international airfares have jumped 12% from 2010.

Fares are so steep that some people have considered staying home this holiday season – or finding an alternate (more affordable) vacation than going to grandma’s house.  If you fall into the “anti-Christmas” camp, then you may want to look into a Mauiva AirCruise.  Mauiva has taken the “cruise” concept and put it in the air, instead of at sea.  They have a fleet of private airplanes that run 6- and 7-day itineraries just like a cruise or bus tour, with high-end accommodations, meals and visits to major attractions, but at an affordable price.  (And since they fly out of private airports, you don’t need to deal with the hassle of security lines.)  Could be a pretty cool way to travel during the holidays.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • This past Sunday a passenger’s gun went off in the security line at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  TSA officers found a loaded .22-caliber Magnum revolver in a carry-on bag during an X-ray scan – and when they attempted to empty the gun, it went off.  Fortunately nobody was hurt.  The passenger told police, “he didn’t realize the pistol was in his messenger bag.”  That said, here’s our recommendation to all travelers:  Always check your carry on luggage for loaded hand guns before you go through security.
  • Airfare buyers beware.  The number of fraudulent airline tickets ordered in the U.S. has surged recently, with more than $1 million in unauthorized tickets issued in the last few months.  The surge in fraudulent tickets is due to online scams targeting travel agents. The scammers send “phishing emails” to travel agents that appear to have been sent from the global distribution systems that provide travel agents the ability to book and issue airline tickets, according to ARC. The agents who open the email are directed to  log in to a fraudulent website and type in their credentials to order tickets.