Why You Should Buy Airline Tickets Last Minute
The conventional wisdom for booking airline tickets is to do so well in advance of your travel dates to get the best prices. This is especially true if you’re on a budget, and saving money on airline tickets can make a huge difference on an international trip with multiple destinations. But what if we told you that you might actually get better deals by waiting until the last minute? We’ve done some research to bring you the truth about last minute flights, and why they may actually be a good investment.
Most airlines release their cheapest fares approximately six weeks before departure, but this isn’t always the case – sometimes you can find them much closer to your travel dates. In fact, CheapAir analyzed over 3 million trips last year and discovered that the best time to buy domestic airline tickets was 54 days in advance, while international flights were just one day
Why You Should Buy Airline Tickets Last Minute
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY AIRLINE TICKETS LAST MINUTE
If you have the ability to be flexible with your travel dates and are looking to save some cash, many experts agree that the last minute is when you should book your airline tickets. Learn more about why you should buy airline tickets last minute.
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By: Jennifer Miller
In this post I will talk about a few ways that you can get airline tickets at a cheaper price. If you are planning on traveling soon, it is recommended that you buy your airline tickets last minute. Many people think that buying tickets far in advance will get you a better deal, however, if you plan to buy your tickets last minute the ticket prices may be reduced if the flight is not full. This is because airlines are motivated to sell all their seats for one flight and usually reduce their prices to fill up the flight. So if you are flexible with your travel dates it is recommended that you wait until the last minute to purchase your ticket.
Another way that you can get a good deal on airline tickets is by using an online travel site. When using these sites it is important to compare prices and deals between several different sites before making your purchase. Also, be sure to check with the individual airlines themselves to see if they have any deals or promotions going on. When looking for deals and promotions keep in mind that many of them are seasonal so make sure that the deal or promotion applies to when you plan on traveling. Using these tips should help ensure that you get a good deal on your airline tickets.
It’s a common misconception that the best time to buy airline tickets is well in advance. In fact, it may be better to wait until closer to your trip before you purchase your ticket. One reason for this is because airlines do not always discount tickets way in advance.
Another reason you want to wait until the last minute is because sometimes airlines will offer deals on tickets they have not sold yet. This allows them to make some money on a ticket that would otherwise go unsold rather than no money at all.
You can even wait until the day of your flight in some cases if you are willing to take the risk that your flight could sell out. However, I would advise against this unless you are very comfortable with taking this risk. You may also consider flying a smaller airline which does not have as many seats available and therefore sells out faster than larger planes might.
According to a recent survey of airfare experts, passengers can save $33 each way on domestic flights and $300 each way on international flights by buying their tickets 3 weeks before departure.
The same survey found that the lowest price for any given flight is most often found 21 days before that flight. As the flight date nears and the airline still has unsold seats, the price drops.
When is the best time to buy airline tickets?
The closest thing to a secret in the airline business is that the lowest fares are available at the last minute. It’s also the best-kept secret. In general, you will get a better fare if you book as far in advance as possible. But there is a growing body of evidence that for some routes and some dates, last-minute purchases can save you money.
The reason is not simply that demand falls off in the last week or two before departure, though that is part of it. The more important reason is that airlines offer discounts on tickets they have not sold in order to fill their planes at the last minute.
The most detailed analysis we’ve seen of this phenomenon was done by Bing Travel, which analyzed round-trip fares from New York to various cities over five months. Some results were unsurprising: fares from New York to Orlando were cheapest when purchased five weeks ahead, while fares to London were cheapest when purchased three months ahead. But Bing also found that for flights from New York to Las Vegas, fares were cheapest when purchased two days before departure. And for flights from New York to Miami, fares were cheapest when purchased one week before departure. (Bing Travel has since been bought and rebranded by Microsoft.)
Of course, such broad analyses
I haven’t done this, but my mom and her friend did a few days ago. They got tickets from Boston to Dallas for $140 R/T, on American Airlines. This is a great deal; the lowest I’ve seen it is usually about $230.
After some investigation, I think I’ve found out why:
American Airlines has a program called “Web Specials”.
They are deeply discounted fares (usually in the 50-70% off range) that expire very quickly (within 24 hours).
You can only buy them on their website.
They do not include checked baggage or meal service.
The price is pretty much all-inclusive (taxes, fees, etc.)
The prices are dynamic. The earlier you buy them, the more expensive they are. The closer to departure time you buy them, the less expensive they are.
If you’re willing to be flexible with your dates and destinations, you can get some really good deals.