Are you looking forward to a nice Spring Break vacation? Or maybe a summer trip to visit family? If so, and if you’re planning on flying, then read on…
According to a study by Airlines Reporting Corp., which is company involved in ticket transactions between airlines and travel agents, the best time to buy a plane ticket is six weeks before your intended travel date.
This study, which was based on millions of transactions over the past four years, found that passengers buying tickets six weeks in advance paid roughly 6% less than the overall average fare.
The study also showed that ticket prices can rise dramatically about a week before the departure date, and can be as much as 40% higher if you try to buy the same day you travel.
This isn’t to say that you’ll always get the best deal by booking six weeks in advance but, all else being equal, that’s when you’re most likely to score the lowest price.
As an aside, a colleague once raved to me about the Bing travel predictor, which tells you whether you should by now or wait (along with a percent confidence indicator) based on whether they expect fares to rise or drop.
While this sounds great in theory, my experience has been that the predictions aren’t particularly accurate, even when their confidence is high.
As I’ve noted in the past, another good trick for saving money when you travel is to consider alternative airports. This won’t work for everyone, but some airports are consistently more expensive than others.