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Cheap Summer Airfare: Avoid Blackout, Surcharge Dates

cheap summer airfare blackout surcharge dates

Attention, summer travelers: You’ve seen this before – airlines advertising sales with “some blackout dates” – meaning days when the sale prices don’t apply.

To add insult to injury this summer, some of these “non-sale” days also include special “peak travel day” surcharges – that make these flights that much pricier.

Be alert for blackout dates and surcharges especially around holiday periods, year round.

For example, the blackout days for the current AirTran sale that ends May 6 include Memorial Day (May 31). Flying that day will not be especially cheap – nor will flying on the Fourth of July, thanks to the “peak travel day” surcharges some airlines have added.

In fact, this summer, it’s going to be difficult to avoid “peak travel day” surcharges – because there are so many of them.

Let me show you why Рand tell you how you can still save on summer vacation travel. So keep reading…

This summer, those peak travel day surcharges sure look very similar to an airfare hike, again, simply because there are so many of them.

Take a look at FareCompar’s Peak Travel Day Surcharge Chart – and note American, Delta and United have all imposed surcharges on every single date this summer, from June 10 through August 16, with one exception (Delta and United have not imposed a surcharge on the Fourth of July).

Which brings me to another good point – blackout and surcharge dates usually fall around a holiday – but sometimes, not on the holiday itself. For example, during the winter holiday season, you can often find relatively cheap flights by flying on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

So this summer – save money by avoiding blackout dates, and when possible, by avoiding surcharge dates. Not all airlines add these surcharges, and prices vary among those that do add them (again, see the chart).

Bonus: this will also help you to avoid the crowds at the airport.

2 Responses to “Cheap Summer Airfare: Avoid Blackout, Surcharge Dates”

  1. frostysnowman says:

    I guess I’m glad we booked our tickets from ATL to LAX on Air Tran months ago, before the peak travel day surcharges went into effect. We are flying home on Memorial Day, but our fare was about $250 per person.

  2. Rick Seaney says:


    Glad you got a good deal!


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