In fact, travelers who have not booked flights for the holidays could find it more difficult and expensive than usual to find the flights they want, when they want them.

Because of the capacity cuts, fuller planes do not mean more people will be flying. It also may be tougher for ski resorts and sunny vacation destinations to keep their numbers up, though some are offering promotions to lure holiday travelers who may be hesitant to open their wallets amid an uncertain economy.

''I think the consumer now has a lot of things on their mind -- they're concerned about the economy, they're concerned about the election, but I think they have already made the decision about what they are going to do over Thanksgiving and Christmas,'' said Arne Haak, chief financial officer of discount carrier AirTran Airways.

Get the full story at the Chicago Sun-Times