When booking a flight ticket, everybody knows that those last-minute ticket prices over the counter might be an unpleasant shock! They are freaking costly, sometimes almost double the actual cost. Given that plane tickets to certain destinations cost thousands of dollars if booked in advance, a last-minute booking to such destinations might cost a huge sum of money….. Although an expensive last-minute flight is likely to curb your spontaneity when booking trips in the future, one begins to ponder whether being an early bird when purchasing your plane ticket is a wiser thing to do!
Six months before departure, domestic flight ticket prices are on average about 20 percent higher than the lowest fares. They start dropping around three months before the flight’s departure and hit the lowest price around seven weeks before the plane takes off.
Something to keep in mind
According to an annual airfare survey, “The price of flight changes on average every 4.5 days, and each change fluctuates $33 up or down”. This implies that booking a flight is all about timing.
The sweet spot
Neither booking too late, nor booking too early will get you the best fares! and timing is crucial when it comes to booking plane tickets to your next destination. Booking too early will either not make a significant difference in the fare price or sometimes may even be costlier than booking a little closer to your travel dates.
The best time to buy airline tickets is when you, as a buyer, have an indication of those times when the airline is motivated to sell more tickets. There is something known as the prime booking window, which is 1 to 3 months in advance to the date of travel.
- For domestic flights, the period is right around 25-40 days in advance, and you might get a flight ticket almost 30% cheaper when booked during this period.
- For international flights, this period is between forty-five and sixty days in advance
Airline ticket sales operate on various complex formulas, but still based on the simple concept of supply versus demand. When there is less supply, you will find cheap flight tickets. On the contrary, when there is more demand, there will be higher airline prices. So this means that, when planning your next holiday trip, it is wiser to book earlier when traveling to popular destinations and during peak seasons.
What is the cheapest day to book flight tickets?
There are a lot of online articles that give you information on what is the best day/time to book a cheap airfare tickets to your dream holiday destination. However, all prices are depending on the airplane routes, fluctuating prices of fuel, tax pandemics, and a lot more….
Months ago it was believed that the cheapest days, to book plane tickets were Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Travelers could save around 6% on their flights. However, this also depends on your destination, as sometimes Sunday is the cheapest day to book a flight!
For example, if you are traveling to Europe, it is best to book on Saturdays. European weekend breaks have become increasingly popular, but you could end up paying over double the price to travel to your European destination purely depending on the day of the week when you are booking the flight!
Traveling to America? For those who are planning to spend a holiday in America, Sunday is once again the cheapest day to make your booking, whilst Friday is the most expensive day!
If you are jetting off traveling to Africa or Asia, there is less fluctuations in the price from one day to the next. However, it is still worth having a look as you could save around $40 by booking on a Sunday, which is the cheapest day to book flights, compared to a Thursday, when on average prices are on the highest side.
If on the other hand, you are traveling to Australia, the average prices for booking flights on a Monday are significantly lower than if you book on a Wednesday!
Keep the money in your account and let it grow
For some people, it is out of the question to book a ticket, let’s say a year in advance! A year is a pretty long time, to miss out on any interest that your bank may offer you. For some this lost interest is an additional cost together with the high airline fare…… a cost that is eventually reflected in less spending money for your holiday.
It is important to mention that all these numbers are not cast in stone, but can be used as an indication to find cheap airline tickets. Travel smart and don’t wait until the last week as the prices can shoot up by 25%!
To become a travel pro you need to know how and when to book the best plane tickets – and of course, you also need to know your rights in case you need to make flight delay claims. Then you are ready to go!