Here’s the best time to buy a ticket to fly in the U.S.
The best day to buy a ticket for a domestic flight is 70 days before you leave.
That guideline is one of the pieces of advice from Los Angeles-based travel company CheapAir’s 2023 guide to saving money on flights. The study is based on 917 million prices for flights in more than 8,000 U.S. markets.Read More »
Factors that determine the best deal
The travel company says many factors go into determining how far in advance you should secure your flight to obtain the best overall deal. The best deal is based not only on price, but on the flight’s destination, the seat location, and the flying experience.
All these factors are used to determine the best time to purchase your ticket in order to obtain the best deal.
The window that offers the lowest prices—as opposed to the overall experience—is about 1.5 to 5.5 months before a flight’s departure. In previous years travelers could wait up to three weeks before a flight’s departure day. The reason that the timeline has stretched to a time so much earlier is likely the high demand for travel, changing prices for fuel, and staffing shortages. Those factors cause fares to become extremely volatile.
The overall message, CheapAir says, is to book early.
One size does not fit all
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CheapAir recognizes that no one-size-fits-all approach applies when it comes to travel, says the chief executive officer Jeff Klee. The company uses its first-hand information to provide a completely transparent booking experience.
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It recognizes how important it is to share tips and relevant trends to help consumers to make the best decision on travel, Klee adds, particularly when the complications that took place in 2022 are taken into account.
Here are additional insights from CheapAir to help you find the best deal on a flight:
• February is the least costly month to fly, followed closely by January.
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Flying in February will save you on average about $114 when compared with flying in December, which is the most expensive month to fly. July is just behind December in terms of costs.
• The least expensive day of the week on which to fly is Wednesday.
You will save on average $100 for each airline ticket compared with Sunday, which is the most expensive day to fly.
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• No day is better than any other when it comes to buying a ticket.
The data gathered by CheapAir demonstrates that the fare differs by at the most $1 regardless of the day of the week on which travelers buy airline tickets.
• Fares are extremely volatile.
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Fares change 49 times on average from the time a seat becomes available to the last day on which it can be booked.
Each time a fare changes it does so by an average of $43.
Trying to time such a market on the basis of price therefore becomes an impossible task. You have no idea whether you are buying at a low price or a high price as the fare could be different in the following week.
• You should book earlier for summer flights than those in other seasons.
Winter, with the exception of peak holidays such as Thanksgiving and the festive season, is the bargain season during which to travel. It has the shortest window to buy airline tickets than any other season, CheapAir says.
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