TODAY   |  October 27, 2013

Holiday airfares soar to great heights

Airfares have already soared nearly 10 percent over the last year, and this holiday season could see the highest prices in a decade. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> this holiday season and haven't booked your tickets yet, you may not want to wait much longer. kristen dahlgren has more on skyrocketing prices and what you can do to avoid paying the highest price.

>> reporter: if you're headed to grandma's or anywhere else this holiday season , prepare to pay more.

>> the truth is, the lowest prices were two weeks ago. prices are going to go up every day.

>> i'm a little nervous about it because i need to get it done.

>> reporter: the average plane ticket in the u.s. and caribbean is up almost 9.5% from last thanksgiving. christmas prices up more than 7%.

>> if i didn't book it early, it would be crazy expensive.

>> reporter: here is an example. the lowest fair to los angeles we could find leaving newark the wednesday before thanksgiving and returning the sunday after $690. according to, the lowest fair two weeks ago was under $400. newark to ft. lauderdale, $706, two weeks ago under $500. in the past pro crafters would hope for a deal, but experts say that's unlikely. airlines have gotten much better at filling the empty seats.

>> there are fewer planes in the sky, fewer seats available to consumers and that's the main reason that holiday airfares are so much higher than they were a decade ago.

>> reporter: there are ways you can save if you're a little flexible. fly first thing in the morning or look for alternate airports if you have more than one near you, and consider flying on less expensive days.

>> my favorite tip for thanksgiving and christmas time travel is travel on the holiday itself.

>> reporter: it may cut your holiday short but could help stretch your hard-earned savings in what is shaping up to be