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How to score some last minute airfare deals

Posted at 7:26 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 08:26:43-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you’re planning on traveling for the holidays, then you’re certainly not alone.

Most people have already gotten their plane tickets but if you haven't, you may still be able to find a last-minute deal.

At Corpus Christi International Airport, it was a happy homecoming for Andrea and Mark Singleterry of Rocport. Their 26-year-old son, Jonathan Murray, is stationed in San Diego and is now home for the holidays.

"It was spur of the moment because he's military,” his mother, Andrea, told us as he and his wife waited for their son’s plane.

A spur-of-the-moment trip oftentimes means big money when it comes to airfare.

When it came to the cost of a roundtrip ticket from San Diego to south Texas, Mark’s dad told us it cost "$900 and something for him to fly.

We asked Roman Guajardo of Dream Vacations here in the Coastal Bend if it’s too late to get a good deal. He told us, “no, it's never too late to get a good deal” because flexibility is key.

So we wanted to know how people can get that so-called good deal.

"It's all about timing,” Guajardo told us. “If people travel on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, it's actually cheaper to go because nobody's traveling on those days.”

At Corpus Christi International Airport, flights are full or at least, close to it.

Kevin Smith, director of aviation for the city of Corpus Christi said passenger traffic at the airport has been, “busy, very busy.”

Busier than last year, Smith said, and more expensive, as well.

"November and December have been extremely higher than normal,” Smith said when it comes to airfare.

He and Guajardo both agree that one website, in particular, can help you find the best deal on your own.

"There's an awful lot of last-minute deals and Google flights is able to pick up on all those carriers,” Smith told us.

And if you're not up for the task of finding that deep discount, Joshua Zuber of AAA Texas recommends not going it alone.

"Trusted traveler advisors can go ahead and look not only for the best airfare but the possibility of bundling and putting some packages together for you so you can say for example on hotels as well as car rentals,” Zuber recommends.

The Singleterrys checked both travel and airline websites but they just couldn’t catch a break.

"They were all real close,” Mark told us. “I mean, give or take $30.”

Flying out of CCIA is often a whole lot more expensive than if you went out of San Antonio, Houston, Austin. But the airport wants you to know that they've got something on their website that might just make you change your mind.

It's called the trip calculator and it takes to travel, time, and mileage into consideration to show you if that great deal out of another airport is really worth it.

As for the Singleterry's, their son's ticket may have been expensive but when it comes to having him home for Christmas, it was worth every penny.

"There's no price,” Andrea said. “I get to see my son. That's all I care about.”

Click on this link to take you to Corpus Christi International Airport's trip calculator.