For people who are passionate about visiting new places and exploring new cities, traveling should never cease regardless of any reason. However, in order to keep moving all the time calls for a good financial backup and one of the most important aspects of traveling where you can prevent breaking your bank is cutting down on your airline expenses. If you are someone who prefers and loves traveling all the time, there is no point in waiting for a specific time when the ticket fares will come with a discount. As a matter of fact, you can save a good amount of money on your flight tickets almost at any time of the year.
When is the Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets?
According to the Annual Airfare Study carried out by CheapAir.com[i] in 2018 covering 8000 markets and analyzing more than 917 million airfares, it was found that the lowest pricing for a journey keeps on changing on an average of 62 times during the prime booking window. Moreover, each change highlighted a raise or drop of $36 aggregately. In 2017, booking a flight 70 days in advance turned out to be the best time for trips within the U.S. subcontinent. Even though there are no hard and fast rules based on the average booking days which keeps on varying with the market change, the best dates for booking flight tickets are generally determined by traveler preference and the travel dates.
Specific Booking Zones
ChaepAir.com discovered five booking zones in 2017 that provided an optimal window for booking flight tickets at the lowest price possible. While booking airline tickets at other times have its own share of benefits and risks, here are the specific booking zones that can help you in enjoying the lowest airline trip fares:
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If you like doing things in advance and get the job done off your to-do list, then you would most likely prefer to book your flight tickets in the First Dibs booking zone. First Dibs zone means securing your flight tickets 6 to 11 months in advance. When you are booking flights this early, you are probably going to pay for a premium airline fare. However, buying early renders you the opportunity of selecting a myriad of flight options that might keep on shrinking as the journey dates come close. For instance, it provides you with the liberty to choose your own seat and ensure that your groups are sitting together without getting segregated. Moreover, it offers you the chance to pick the best itineraries for any pair of cities, making it worth to pay the extra money.
Peace of Mind
Booking flights 4 to 6 months in advance falls under the zone of Peace of Mind as it soothes the travel stress and anxiety. It costs less than compared to First Dibs and will render you a good number of seat and flight options to pick along with other similar options.
Prime Booking Window
If you are scouting for cheap airfare, look no further than the prime booking window zone that occurs 21 days to 120 days in advance. Try booking your flight tickets during this time interval, as the airfares are 5 percent low compared to the earlier zones and you could most probably witness a cheap fare pop up while making the reservations. No wonder why most people try their luck by booking flights during the prime booking window and nab a bargain.
Push Your Luck
In case you have missed your chance to book flights during the prime booking window zone, there is yet another timeframe for gambling with your flight tickets. Known as the Push Your Luck zone, this option denotes booking tickets two to three weeks in advance. There are chances that the low fares might be still available, as this is close to your travel dates and the fares are slightly high due to the selling out of the above-mentioned options. Nonetheless, you can try your luck, but keep in mind that you might not get the aisle or window seat when booking tickets during Christmas and other highly popular seasonal weeks. Of course, you would love to have a seat selected by the airlines and save a good amount of money, owing to the low fares.
Playing With Fire
Sometimes the pricing is better when you wait for this late and ready to compromise with the fewer options available after the Prime Booking Window. This is the Playing with Fire zone that is created for individuals who often pay 22% less on average than people who wait for the Hail Mary Zone.
Booking tickets during the last minute is not for the faint of the heart, however, there are obvious reasons when you consider booking flights in the Hail Mary zone. You will likely face limited options when it comes to selecting seats, but you might crack a jackpot with lower flight fares.
Given the ongoing fluctuations in the airline ticket pricing, hopefully, the aforementioned information will help you with booking the tickets at the best time.