Luckily, the budget airline cheapair.com has lifted the veil on the sorcery at play here. By crunching the numbers on 921 million fares, they have packaged their findings into an online report.
In the article below, we will condense some of their most value findings for our readers.
The Five Time Windows
In the study, the Cheapair identifies five different booking zones for their flights.
Early: When you book a flight very early, you actually pay more. When booking 178-321 days from travel, consumers can expert can pay up to $50 or more on average. Airlines start with high prices and then adjust their prices as they gauge demand.
Peace of Mind: During the period defined as the “Peace of Mind” zone (106-177 days), airfares are still significantly higher. This time window is ideal for travellers willing to spend more to ensure their holidays is booked. This typically involves paying a small $20 extra on their fare.
Prime: The prime booking zone is where the value hunter should focus most of his attention. Although prices tend to fluctuate within this sweet spot, they tend to be within 5% of their lowest fares.
Push You Luck: The “push your luck” zone is a relatively small window of time in which can sometimes offer hope to travellers. Most of the time fares begin to rise in price during this point, however you can get lucky. This zone is usually 14-20 days in advance.
Hail Mary: During this zone, consumers are charged almost $150 more. The chances of finding cheaper flights tends to fall as you get closer to the departure date. The worst time to buy a flight is the day before departure. If you wait until then, you can expect to spend $249 on average.
The Cheapest Days To Buy Tickets
Cheapair’s findings suggest that there is no specific date to buy cheap flights. Although tickets tend to be cheaper on Tuesday, or Wednesday, the variance in price is probably no greater than 2$.
Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly – Sunday is the most expensive.
Buying Flights According To Season
Ticket prices are seasonal.
Summer: Purchase tickets for your summer trip well in advance – the best time to buy them is on average 76 days from the flight. The ideal booking time is 21-140 days from travel. Funnily enough, these changes are very significant. The difference between the best and worst priced days is a whopping $250.
Fall: The length of time needed to secure a bargain lengthens in fall. If you are travelling after summer, you can probably wait 47 days before booking. The prime booking time is 21-91 days before. The worst time to book is the week you are travelling.
Winter: During the holiday season, they estimate that 54 days before your flight is the ideal time to book. The prime booking time is 21-86 days from travel. The difference between the best and worst priced days is $275.
Spring: Springtime is a bit tricky. If you want to travel in spring, it is best to book 2.5 months before your flight. The prime booking time is 21-105 days before flying. The difference between the best and worst time to book os $224.
The study is a unique insight into booking cheap flights. If you want to learn more about their study, read it for yourself.
Flight prices change very often. Cheapair recommends above all else that you purchase a great value fares as you see them.