DENVER (CBS4) – Sure, it’s late to start booking holiday flights, but some travel professionals say waiting until the last minute can get better fares.

It’s usually said to book early, but those who are willing to gamble on finding last-minute airfares say it can really pay off.

CBS4 Money Saver Suzanne McCarroll looked into the prices after this past weekend when she had to change her daughter’s Christmas travel. She said she was stunned to find a lower flight than the holiday flight she booked for her back in September.

“For the most part money is one of the biggest contributing factors on if somebody’s going to go out for the holidays,” an official with said.

The folks at recently surveyed their 4 million Facebook users to see if consumers thought making last-minute reservations could save them money. Surprisingly, many said yes.

“For me, the experience I’ve had; I’ve got some great deals last minute,” a traveler said.

McCarroll found last-minute deals on Southwest “ding” sales. They are typically offered for just a short time but travelers can sign up for an alert to be sent when the fares drop.

On Spirit Airlines McCarroll found a $58 flight to Phoenix on Christmas Eve morning.

Flying on the actual holiday of Thanksgiving and Christmas can save a traveler money.

Still waiting until the last minute to book is a gamble. For many, the anxiety of waiting isn’t worth the savings.

Obscure flight times or “red eyes” are often the best chance at a good last minute fare.



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