Chief Executive Officer of FareCompare.com Rick Seaney said, "everybody's looking at every dime. They're all worried about their jobs."
Major airlines have found travelers booking flights early to avoid high fares, The New York Times reported Wednesday, one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Peggy Edwards of Atlanta said she pulled her children from school "for a couple of days, because it was so much cheaper." She arrived in New York Friday, the Times reported.
Edwards said she saved more than $100 on each fare by extending the vacation.
The shift meant airlines and airports were mobbed for longer than usual this year.
"Big surprise. Very crowded," said Linda Moxley, also of Atlanta, who also flew to New York Friday.