5 Best Times to Buy Plane Tickets

A blog around buying plane tickets and when is the best time to do so.

It seems you can’t talk about airline ticket prices without someone chiming in, “Oh, you should’ve bought your tickets six months ago!” Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. In fact, there are times when it’s best to buy your tickets even later.

So when is the best time to buy? Below are tips on when to buy and which days to fly. But first, here are a few things you should know about how airlines price their tickets:

The cheapest fares tend to be offered by low-cost carriers like Southwest and JetBlue. If you have your heart set on a particular airline, check out its fares on aggregator sites like Expedia or Priceline but also visit that airline’s site directly; it might have a deal going that the aggregators aren’t aware of yet.

Prices change all the time based on demand and competition; an airline could lower its fares tomorrow in order to try to fill seats. (This happens more often than you think.)

5 Best Times to Buy Plane Tickets

When to Buy Airline Tickets, According to 9 Top Travel Sites

Have you ever wondered when the best time is to buy airline tickets? Should you book them in advance to get a good deal? Or do last-minute sales offer a better option? And what about that age-old question of whether or not Tuesday is actually the best day of the week to buy cheap plane tickets?

To answer these questions, and many more, we’ve scoured dozens of travel sites, consulted with industry experts and analyzed years of historical data and trends. We’ve also created a list of our favorite travel sites for booking flights on the cheap.

In this guide, we’ll share our findings on the best times (and days) for buying airline tickets — as well as some handy tricks for finding cheap deals when you just can’t wait. And if you’re looking for budget-friendly flights now, check out our list of the latest flight deals from your city.

So, when’s the best time to buy airline tickets? Here’s what we found:

Airline tickets can be a huge expense when you’re traveling, especially if you’re traveling with a family. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can save a lot of money by being strategic about when and how you buy your airline tickets. Here are the five best times to buy airline tickets.

1. Try to book at least 60 days ahead of time.

2. Book your flight during the off-season for the destination you are heading to.

3. If you can be flexible about your travel dates and times, do so.

4. Don’t wait too long – the best time to buy is usually two months before your travel dates!

5. Sign up for email alerts from fare comparison websites like CheapOair, and check them regularly for discounted fares and sales!

Most people who buy plane tickets want to get the best deal possible. But for many travelers, just the thought of scouring sites, tracking fares, and pulling out one’s hair trying to find the best price on a ticket is enough to make them simply buy the first fare they see.

If you have time on your side but are looking for some general guidelines on when to book, here are five tips to consider:

As summer inches closer, many are already planning their next vacation. But if you’re flying to your destination, you might need a quick primer on when to buy plane tickets.

In general, the best time to book a domestic flight is between one and three months before your trip, or roughly 60 days out, according to CheapAir.com. Of course, that’s an average, and it’s going to vary depending on where you’re headed. For example, flights from the East Coast of the United States to Europe are generally more expensive than flights from the West Coast, so you’ll want to book those further in advance — about six months in advance is best.

And remember that prices on flights tend to be higher over holiday weekends like New Year’s Eve or Memorial Day weekend (when people are traveling for celebrations), and lower during off-peak times like mid-January or early February (when fewer people are traveling for leisure).

If you read this blog, you probably already know that you are supposed to book your plane ticket about six weeks before your trip. But what if you’re reading this too late? Do you have to pay the high price?

Not necessarily. While booking six weeks out is ideal, here are the best times to buy your ticket within 30 days of flying.

When You Can Book Cheap Flights Within 30 Days Of Your Departure:

1. As soon as the airline announces a sale

2. The day after the sale ends

3. One month and two weeks before your trip (for domestic flights)

4. Three weeks before your trip (for international flights)

5. Four days before your trip (for last-minute flights)

First, you need to know how much advance notice the airline requires. Typically, domestic tickets should be booked between one and three months in advance, international flights three to six months in advance. In general, most airlines have a 21-day advance purchase window (this varies from airline to airline).

Second, keep your dates flexible. Each flight is broken down into fare buckets based on demand and availability, says George Hobica of Airfarewatchdog.com. When demand is high and supply is low, the price is higher; when demand is soft and there are lots of empty seats, the price goes down. Generally speaking, Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly; Saturday is the most expensive.

Third, if you’re not sure you want to buy now but want to keep an eye on prices, use a fare alert service like Airfarewatchdog or FareCompare or sign up for alerts from your favorite airline(s). Change fee policies vary by airline: Southwest often has no change fees; American’s change fee can range from $75–$200; Delta’s change fee starts at $150 for domestic flights and can increase based on the fare type purchased; United charges a flat $200 for domestic flights.

Fourth, if you find a cheaper

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