Johnny says that now is the time to book your flights to go home for the holidays. And don't even bother to look for a deal during the week of Thanksgiving. Although you could find a bargain by flying on Thanksgiving Day since people don't usually fly on that day. Also, save money by searching any time. Early in the morning saves a lot of money, as does alternate airports. Johnny says he likes to do "hidden cities," where you can fly a one way ticket, not check a bag, and then book your flight where your end destination is actually the connection. So just get off and don't use the rest of the flight. But be warned, the airlines could punish you if you do it with your freedom flyer miles. They could take away all of your miles.
A good travel agent can come into play because they'll do the leg work. If a flight gets cancelled, they'll have people working who can come to your aid. Johnny has a great search engine on his website that can search all the major airlines and ticket deals at once. And sign up for flight alerts from the airlines. You can get an email when the flight drops. Airfare Watchdog, Kayak, etc. Johnny also tends to get the alert and then goes directly to the airline to book the fare, especially American because they put a hold on the reservation so you can look further.
Johnny says that credit card points are ideal to use while flying during the holidays. You can't use miles, but points through your credit cards are fair game.