How Far in Advance Should I Buy Summer Airline Tickets?
The right time to purchase airline tickets for summer travel plans depends on your specific needs when planning a trip. While some travelers prefer to purchase tickets as soon as they have a destination in mind, others choose to wait until the last minute, hoping for the lowest fares on sites like Skyscanner for the best flights. Buying airline tickets is sometimes a bit of a gamble, but arming yourself with these helpful travel tips helps in your decision-making process.
Travelers hoping to secure a ticket for a domestic trip for their desired route, date, airline and time should purchase tickets as soon as possible to ensure their specific requirements are met. It’s important to note that you can still score some flight deals after your airfare has been booked. Many airlines and travel reservation companies offer fare refunds to travelers who find a cheaper airfare price for a flight they have already booked, according to an article in The New York Times. However, a re-booking fee is often charged when changing them to the new ticket price.
Travelers who wait until the last minute often have trouble obtaining a ticket for the exact date and time they prefer; however, flexible travelers are often able to score some of the best prices by purchasing as soon as 14 days in advance of a flight. Airlines periodically issue last-minute specials for round-trip tickets during the slow time of year and getaway package deals that are often cheaper than an airline ticket purchased well in advance. Holiday travelers choosing to wait until the last minute should purchase tickets at least two weeks before the flight when time when flight prices soar
Wait for the Best Day
The best deals on domestic travel airline tickets are historically offered approximately three and a half months before a departure date. According to travel experts, those few months are when companies are attempting to determine their demand for summer air travel. However, ultra-budget travelers should note the cheapest days of the week to book flights. The best time to buy tickets for the cheapest flights is midweek, typically after 3 p.m. EST. More specifically, many travel experts say that Tuesdays are the cheapest days to buy airline tickets. These price drops don’t last long, so the best time to book cheap flights is before prices change on Thursdays.
Tips for International Trips
Those who are planning international travel must be prepared to look for the best deals between four and five months prior to their travel dates. For travel to Europe, the best time to buy plane tickets is typically between four and six months in advance; the lowest prices are often offered early in that window. In most cases, travelers on international flights who choose to book their flight early or wait until the last minute face the same benefits and downfalls as those booking a domestic flight.