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This Simple Formula Will Tell You If You’re Getting Ripped Off When Buying Your Next Flight

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While air travel prices have dropped in the past year due to low gas prices, it’s still hard to know if you’re really getting a good deal when you purchase that plane ticket.

When I book my ski trip each year, I never know if I should wait for prices to drop or pull the trigger and purchase at the current price.  It’s downright stressful as I don’t want to spend more than I need to and leave money on the table.

Luckily, Luiz Maykot, a data science analyst who works at Adobe, came up with a simple formula to figure out if you’re getting a good price for the ticket.

It’s pretty easy. All you need to do is multiply the total round trip miles by $0.032 and then add $230.  As an example, a flight between New York and L.A. is a total of 5,640 miles.  Plugging that into the formula (.032 x 5,640 + 230) gives you a price of $410.48.  Anything below that would be considered a good deal.

For international flights, multiply the total miles by $0.08 and add $200.

Maykot explains how the formula works:

I calculated the average price paid by everyone in the data sample, based on how many days in advance they purchased their tickets (up to 300 days in advance). Then, I divided the average price for each day by the overall average price and did this across thousands and thousands of flights. I was left with a weighted average of the final curve.

For more details on how the formula works and a calculator to enter in your trip, check out the MarketPlace website.

[H/T Lifehacker]

Photo by ltbaspotter – Bulent Kavakkoru/SpotTR