Demand is Up and Airfares Are Down This Holiday Travel Season, According to Orbitz Insider Index

Airfares Down 9 Percent and Hotel Prices Relatively Flat as Nearly Three Quarters of Americans Are Expected to Travel During the Holidays

Holiday travelers can save 15 percent off hotels using promotion code “FEELGOOD” on

CHICAGO, Oct. 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The start of fall signals a drop in temperatures and the unofficial kick-off of the holiday travel season. The latest Orbitz Insider Index breaks down the holiday travel outlook for 2015, including top destinations, average prices, best times to book and Americans’ attitudes toward the busiest travel season of the year.

According to the 2015 holiday survey, 71 percent of Americans are planning to take at least one trip between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, up 6 percent from last year.1 Not only are more Americans planning to travel during the holidays, they are also budgeting more. On average, Americans plan to spend $2,195 on holiday trips, up slightly from $2,177 in 2014. With airfares down 9 percent over the holiday season (Nov. 25 – Dec. 31) and hotel prices remaining relatively flat, increased budgets will stretch further this year.

“Last year, 50 percent of travelers had already booked their Thanksgiving trips by Oct. 20 and Christmas trips by Nov. 13. Over the next couple of weeks planes will be filling up and air supply will begin to decline which can increase prices,” said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor at “Whether it’s home for the holidays or a beach vacation, now is the time to book holiday travel while there is still availability and reasonable prices.”

Visit for a full guide on traveling over the holidays including a calendar of the cheapest days to book flights. And for travelers who still need to book holiday trips, Orbitz is spreading the holiday cheer with 15 percent off participating hotels using promotion code FEELGOOD.2 Book by Nov. 29 to save.

Orbitz Top 10 Destinations for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s has identified the Top 10 destinations travelers plan to visit for the 2015 holiday travel season. The Index covers the entire holiday landscape, including the average airfare and daily hotel prices in each of the most popular markets for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.


  • The average price of Thanksgiving airfare to the top 10 travel destinations is $369 (down 9 percent from 2014) with hotel costs up 5 percent to an average of $181 in the top 10 destinations compared to 2014.
  • The busiest day to travel for Thanksgiving is Nov. 25 and the least busy travel day is Nov. 30.
  • Those interested in Thanksgiving travel on the cheap should consider spending the holiday in Texas with airfare down an average of 11 percent and hotels down 13 percent year-over-year. Top 10 Thanksgiving Destinations
Airfare 2015
% Change
Hotel Daily
Rate 2015
% Change
1Chicago, Ill.$325 -17%$214 15%
2Orlando, Fla.$326 -10%$133 10%
3Los Angeles, Calif.$385 -8%$151 -14%
4New York, N.Y.$370 -12%$319 -10%
5Cancun, Mexico$515 -5%$264 7%
6Las Vegas, Nev.$340 -10%$111 10%
7Denver, Colo.$326 1%$142 26%
8San Francisco, Calif.$396 -9%$195 4%
9Dallas, Texas$358 -11%$123 -13%
10Washington, D.C.$350 -5%$160 19%


  • The average price of Christmas airfare is $493 (down 4 percent from 2014) with hotel costs averaging $201 (up 2 percent compared to 2014) for average daily hotel prices in the top 10 destinations.
  • The busiest day for Christmas travel is Dec. 23 while travelers will find the least crowds at the airports on Dec. 27.
  • A ski retreat to Colorado may offer the most savings year-over-year with average airfare to Denver down 7 percent and hotels down 17 percent on average when comparing to 2014. Top 10 Christmas Destinations
RankDestinationAverage Airfare
% Change
Average Hotel
Daily Rate
% Change YOY
1Los Angeles, Calif.$471 -4%$162 32%
2Orlando, Fla.$482 -8%$205 33%
3Cancun, Mexico$801 3%$455 6%
4Denver, Colo.$483 -7%$121 -17%
5Fort Lauderdale, Fla.$387 -8%$166 -12%
6San Francisco, Calif.$468 -7%$191 1%
7Chicago, Ill.$369 -14%$137 5%
8New York, N.Y.$421 -7%$281 -22%
9Miami, Fla.$603 3%$208 2%
10Phoenix, Ariz.$449 7%$81 -7%


  • The average price of New Year’s airfare is $416 (down 12 percent compared to 2014) with hotel costs at an average of $229 (representing an increase of 17 percent) compared to the top 10 destinations in 2014.
  • The busiest day for New Year’s travel is not surprisingly the day before New Year’s Eve on Dec. 30. On the flip side, the least busy travel day is New Year’s day.
  • Chicago may offer travelers the most bang for their buck this year with airfare down 10 percent and hotels down 9 percent from 2014. Top 10 New Year’s Destinations
RankDestinationAverage Airfare
% Change YOYAverage Hotel
Daily Rate
% Change YOY
1Orlando, Fla.$329 -10%$194 13%
2Cancun, Mexico$523 -4%$353 15%
3New York, N.Y.$422 -11%$313 2%
4Los Angeles, Calif.$443 -15%$199 30%
5Fort Lauderdale, Fla.$341 -10%$199 15%
6Chicago, Ill.$408 -10%$155 -9%
7Miami, Fla.$464 -9%$271 38%
8Las Vegas, Nev.$357 -17%$211 23%
9San Francisco, Calif.$524 2%$241 28%
10Denver, Colo.$344 -37%$154 17%

Americans’ Attitudes toward Holiday Travel

The Holiday Survey took the pulse of Americans’ opinions on everything from budgets to holiday stress. Below are additional key findings from this year’s holiday travel survey:

  • Eighty-six percent of Americans plan to stay at a hotel over the holidays and 66 percent plan to take flights.
  • 71 percent of survey respondents would rather stay at a hotel than with family with the number one reason being that staying at a hotel is less stressful.
  • 33 percent of Americans listed long airport lines as something they are dreading this year, compared to just 13 percent in 2014.
  • Vacation packages are hot this year - 34 percent of respondents have already booked a holiday vacation package rather than booking travel products separately.
  • Sixty-four percent of Americans plan to spend more on holiday travel-related expenses than gifts, perhaps in a nod to quality time over material items.

Terms and Conditions
1The Orbitz holiday survey was fielded by Orbitz from Sept. 21 – 23, 2015 via HawkPartners. 800 U.S. adults aged 18 and older who had who planned to travel over the holiday were surveyed.
2FEELGOOD: Book a qualifying hotel between Oct. 5, 2015 12:01AM CT and Nov. 29, 2015 11:59PM CT, for 2 or more nights for travel between October 5, 2015, and March 31, 2016, via Orbitz and instantly receive 15% off through the use of the promotion code up to a maximum savings of $150 per booking. Limit one discount per hotel room and one promotion code per booking. View full terms here:
3Top 10 Thanksgiving travel destinations and average hotel prices are based on hotel bookings for travel from Nov. 25-30, 2015 vs. the coinciding holiday period last year, Nov. 26-Dec. 1, 2014.
4Top 10 Christmas travel destinations and average hotel prices are based on hotel bookings for travel from Dec. 21-27, 2015 vs. the coinciding holiday period last year, Dec. 22-28, 2014.
5Top 10 New Year’s travel destinations and average hotel prices are based on hotel bookings for travel from Dec. 30-Jan. 3, 2015 vs. the coinciding holiday period last year, Dec. 30-Jan. 3, 2014

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Media Contact: Marita Hudson Thomas, +1-312-260-8304,

Source:Orbitz Worldwide Inc.