If you book at the wrong time, you could pay hundreds more than you need to
Land these savings.
You’ll want to book your domestic flight 70 days before departure to get the best deals, according to an analysis of 917 million airfares by CheapAir.com. Of course, this is an average — not every flight will have the lowest prices exactly 70 days before departure — but it’s a decent rule of thumb.
Even better: Just make sure you book within the prime booking window, which is 21 to 121 days before departure. That is “usually the best time to buy,” the report reveals. “Fares bounce around, but frequently are available for within 5% of the lowest price.”
So how much can you really save by booking at the right time? Sometimes more than $200.
|You book this far in advance:||You pay this much more per ticket on average:|
|121-21 days||Lowest fares|
Other rules you might want to follow when booking airfare:
You won’t save by booking on Tuesday. You’ve almost certainly heard this “rule” before, but it’s just not true. “The average fares purchased each day were virtually identical,” the CheapAir analysis found. And a similar analysis by Hopper.com found that Tuesday was only the cheapest day to buy tickets for 1.6% of domestic routes.
The cheapest day to fly is Wednesday, the most expensive is Sunday. There is “an average fare difference of $76 between the least expensive travel day (Wednesday) and the most expensive (Sunday),” the CheapAir analysis noted.
Fly in January to save. According to an analysis by Hopper, January tends to be the cheapest month of the year to fly followed by February — while prices creep up significantly in the summer.
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