The research also uncovered the optimal days for traveling at the most favorable prices.
A fresh study is answering the age-old query of when to secure the best flight deals.
CheapAir.com’s Annual Airfare Study suggests that booking a ticket at least three weeks prior to departure, but not exceeding 2.5 months in advance, is the prime window for scoring the top flight bargains.
Prime Booking Window: Extending Opportunities for Savvy Flyers
The report unveils that this year’s Prime Booking Window stretches up to approximately 3 weeks before your travel date. In 2024, you can delay your purchase slightly, as the window for securing the lowest fares extends to about 2.5 months ahead.
Analyzing over 917 million airfares across the United States, the report also cautions that travelers who procrastinate until less than a week before their planned trip to book a flight will end up paying 59 percent more.
Timing Matters: Avoiding Early or Last-Minute Booking Pitfalls
The report uncovers that passengers who book their airline tickets excessively early, like 280 days before a flight, could end up paying inflated prices, nearly as much as if they booked the ticket last minute.
Additionally, the report challenges a common travel belief regarding the fluctuation of ticket prices based on certain days.
“Data clearly shows that the average low fare varies by less than $1, no matter what day of the week you buy an airline ticket,” underscores the report.
However, CheapAir.com observes that “the day of the week you choose to travel on does make a difference in price,” pinpointing Wednesday as the cheapest day to travel. Moreover, midweek flights are consistently cheaper.
Adapting to Price Fluctuations and Promotional Offers
In addition to timing considerations, travelers should factor in the flexibility of airlines regarding change and cancellation fees. Taking advantage of price drops by rebooking tickets to capture the fare difference can result in substantial savings. The report highlights that prices typically fluctuate 49 times on average, sometimes varying by as much as $100.
Furthermore, airlines frequently offer promotional deals and discounts on flight routes, whether through cash payments or loyalty miles. For instance, United Airlines maintains a dedicated page showcasing ongoing deals and promotions, allowing travelers to capitalize on opportunities for additional savings.
By staying informed about pricing dynamics and promotional offerings, travelers can enhance their ability to secure the best possible deals and optimize their travel budgets.
- How Far in Advance You Should Book Your Flight for the Best Price, Based on Recent Research