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So what is that magic number?
It turns out that you should buy your tickets 54 days in advance. The study found that ticket prices were at the absolute lowest, on average, 54 days before the flight takes off. They key here is “on average.”
The good people at CheapAir analyzed over 3 million flights and tracked their prices from 320 days in advance to the day before the flight took off.
While 54 is the average day for the best prices, the researchers emphasize that every flight is unique. Flights to popular destinations around popular times of year (e.g. spring break to Florida) should be booked further in advance and even before the prime booking window.
With strong demand for specific flights, airlines won’t need to drop the prices too much. This same thing applies to smaller airports where there isn’t a huge supply of flights coming and going.
Here are some of the other key findings:
- A ticket will cost about $200 more when booked within 7 days of departure
- Tickets purchased between 7 and 13 days in advance will cost about $75 more
- Foreign destinations should be booked much earlier than 54 days
If you are looking for a great app to help with finding the best price, I really like Hopper. It focuses on analyzing prices and tells you when you should book and when you should wait.
Photo by TravelCollector