Why It’s a Good Idea to Wait a Little Longer for Cheap Airline Tickets
[FareCompare’s air travel blog]
A blog about waiting for great sale prices and other tips.
Cheap airline tickets: You want one, we want you to get one – so why don’t the airlines make it easier? Sure, they offer sale fares on occasion but even those are often gone in a flash. Why do the airlines make us jump through so many hoops to score cheap tickets? Here’s our take:
1. It’s a game to them. Airlines sometimes feel like Las Vegas casinos – they know that if they dangle the potential for a big win (cheap tickets) in front of enough people, some percentage of those people will keep coming back (no matter how often they lose). They also know that no one really knows how many seats are left at what price, so it’s hard for fliers to know whether they should buy now or wait just a little longer. The result is that we get frustrated and buy out of fear – fear of missing out on the deal since it might never come back again. How do I know this? Because I used to work for an
While it’s tempting to jump on the first good deal you see, or follow your impulse to buy as soon as you see a low price, waiting might save you even more money in the long run. When you wait, you can find out if there are better deals available and also increase your chances of finding a cheap flight.
Here are some tips for finding lower airfare prices:
Airlines often offer discounts when you book a ticket one to three months in advance. However, many of them also have sales at the last minute—often 21 days before departure. If you don’t mind waiting, consider watching for those sales as well. Some airlines offer better deals than others do closer to the departure date. And while some airlines aren’t offering any reductions at all, others might be offering last-minute deals that are much cheaper than the ones available earlier.
There is no single best time to buy tickets because airlines change their prices all the time depending on many factors, including weather forecasts and how full their planes are expected to be. The best thing to do is to keep track of ticket prices over time and pick the best deal. Use a travel site like Google Flights or Skyscanner
It can be difficult to decide when to buy airline tickets, but the best time is usually 21 days before your departure date. Airlines often release tickets roughly three months before the flight date and prices tend to rise as it gets closer to the flight. If you are sure that you want to fly on a specific date, it’s a good idea to purchase your ticket at least two weeks in advance.
However, if you have flexibility with your dates and are willing to wait for a great deal, then there are some tricks that can help you get the cheapest airfare.
Use a price alert service. If you’re flexible with your dates and just looking for a great deal, then Yapta is an excellent tool that will keep track of prices for you. Whenever the price drops below your chosen amount, Yapta will send you an email alert so that you can book without having to constantly check prices yourself. This system automatically tracks flights and hotel rooms so if there is ever a deal available, you will know about it right away.
The longer you wait, the cheaper airline tickets get. Assuming you are not in a situation where you have to travel, the very best time to buy cheap international airfare is about 10 weeks before your departure date.
The good news about this is that ten weeks is a long enough period of time for you to be able to keep an eye on price fluctuations and buy when the price is lowest.
The bad news is that if you are planning to travel at a peak time (e.g. Christmas or New Year) or during a school break, then ten weeks may be too long for you to wait and there may still be no availability at a price that suits your pocket.
Airfare prices are on the rise, but if you know when to shop, you could save as much as $600.
When looking for cheap airline tickets, timing is absolutely everything. And according to a recent study by CheapAir.com, the prime booking window has changed: You now have to wait longer than ever to book the best possible fare.
“While it’s always been important to book early, historically the best deals were found 69 days in advance,” said CEO Jeff Klee. “This year, however, we’ve seen that move out further and further, and now what we’re finding is that it makes sense to wait until about 47 days before departure.”
The reason for this shift? Airlines have gotten better at pricing seats for maximum profit and looking for ways to fill empty seats before announcing a sale. The good news is that after 47 days (which usually falls into the third week of September) fares start moving lower again; there’s another big drop at about seven weeks out (mid-October), then again at 11 weeks out (mid-November).
Airlines are a hot mess right now. The inability to sell seats at a price high enough to cover costs has made it impossible for airlines to make money on routes that they fly. So, they try to make up the deficit by charging extra fees on things like checking baggage and reservations.
If you are going to travel, you need to know how to get the cheapest airline tickets possible. This blog is all about teaching people how to buy cheap airline tickets.
There are many different ways that people can find cheap airline tickets. While there are endless websites that offer tips for getting cheaper airfare, here are some of the most powerful ideas.
The average airfare paid by domestic travelers in the first quarter of this year was $377, up 5.4% from a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The good news for budget-conscious travelers is that summer airfares are likely to be slightly lower than last year’s. The bad news: If you wait too long to book your tickets, you could miss out on the best deals, especially on popular routes served by discount carriers.
For bargain hunters, the key is timing. For many routes, the best prices are available 59 days before departure, according to Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes tickets sold through travel agents and online travel agencies such as Expedia and Orbitz. In general, the longer you wait, the higher your fare will be. But there are exceptions: Some discount carriers don’t offer their lowest fares until just two weeks before departure.