Some people believe that the best time to book tickets for flights is as far in advance as possible. Others believe that it is better to wait right until the last minute in the hopes that some airline is trying to get rid of their unsold tickets.
Frankly speaking – neither of these are true.
While it is partially true that sometimes when you purchase tickets far in advance you’ll get access to various discounts and special offers – on average relying on these is not exactly the most prudent course of action especially if your travel arrangements and schedule isn’t all that flexible. Similarly while some airlines offer last minute reductions on ticket prices to clear out unsold tickets, not all of them do – and you run the risk of being unable to get a ticket completely if it doesn’t work out.
Some of the latest research into the best time to book tickets has revealed that on average it is best to book your tickets about six weeks prior to departure in order to get the best rates. To come out with this figure the research took into account over $80 billion worth of airline ticket sales and averaged out the data to determine when the best rates were on offer.
What they found was that the majority of tickets that were priced below the average cost of a ticket began to surface around the six week mark. Any sooner than that and the only below average tickets came from promotions and special offers, and any later than that and the tickets either increased in price or the only below-average ticket prices were from last-minute clearance sales.
Make no mistake, these results are in no way a ‘guarantee’ that if you purchase tickets about six weeks in advance you’ll get the best price, but rather it is simply an interesting guideline that has emerged because of the trend with airline tickets nowadays. Truth be told, if you are really interested in getting the cheapest prices it would be best to first find out what the average price for a ticket is and then track how expensive it is from well in advance of your departure date.
If and when you find that it is being sold at a decent below-average price then you should buy it.
All said and done, the knowledge that you needn’t depend on early-bird promotions or last-minute sales to get the best rates on tickets should be a good thing. So long as you plan your flights properly and remember to check out the different options that are available there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to save a decent amount on your tickets.