The Best Time to Book a Flight
When should you buy plane tickets for the cheapest airfare? With new innovative tools and travel apps for searching for flights coming onto the scene every day (My favorites to use are Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, and CheapAir, who both have awesome algorithms that seem to find cheaper fares than anywhere else online), it’s easier than ever to save money on travel, and, in effect, get to travel more!
But, since airlines change fares constantly (often multiple times a week), timing is absolutely everything when it comes to saving money. Airlines use very sophisticated computer systems to adjust fares literally in real-time. Which is why buying an airline ticket these days can feel a little like playing the stock market… and why you need every tool at your disposal to make sure you’re getting the very best deal. After all, did you know that, on average, the fare difference between the best day to buy your airline ticket and the worst is $336?! That’s money that could (and should) be spent on piña coladas, beachside massages, and sunset sailing tours, people!
I like to start checking fares as soon as I know I’ll be flying. Then, I’ll check continuously and set alerts on my skyscanner app (Skyscanner iOS App Download) , at least once or twice a week to get a sense of what’s a good deal. And when I find a fare I like, I’m ready to pull the trigger since I know that fare won’t be around for long. And, like the infographic below has proven, I’ve personally found the best luck right around 6-10 weeks before a trip.
CheapAir created this awesome infographic of when to buy plane tickets for the absolute best airfare, and it’s great to keep handy when you’re thinking about booking your next trip. After all, if Cheap Air knows one thing, it’s how to find cheap air, so I figure we can trust ’em on this.
Through a ton of big data research on travel and airline fares, they found that the prime booking window for getting the lowest fares is from 4 months- 3 weeks before a trip, with the absolute lowest fares being between 10 weeks and 6 weeks before a trip.