The Best Time To Buy Flights (Based On 917 Million Airfares)

The Best Time To Buy Flights (Based On 917 Million Airfares)
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Anyone who has ever purchased a plane ticket can tell you there’s a “right” and “wrong” time to buy. Plane ticket prices fluctuate, and where you purchase your ticket can mean a difference of literally hundreds of dollars, depending on where you’re travelling to.

Travel booking site recently revealed the results of its 2018 Airfare study, a study where it looked at 917 million different flights listed on its site to determine where the perfect time to buy is. The results are pretty interesting.

The big question: How far in advance should you buy?

Everyone knows a last-minute plane ticket is probably expensive, but how far in advance do you need to purchase a ticket is a little less known.

According to the study, the best window of time to purchase a ticket in 2017 was 70 days in advance, a bit higher than the sweet spot in 2016 which was 54 days. However, that 70 was an average. The “best” time to buy actually depends on the season when you plan to travel.

In Winter you want to try for 62 days in advance, Spring 90 days in advance, Summer 47 days in advance, and Fall 69 days in advance, on average.

And as for that theory that there’s a best day of the week to buy – CheapAir says that’s not really true. Airfare during the week traditionally doesn’t fluctuate more than a few dollars from day to day, so you’re fine buying a ticket any day you want.

When it comes to when you fly, there is a difference. The cheapest days to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday, while Sunday is the most expensive.


  • [Edit]: The source article makes clear that this is about US domestic flights, and that they have an upcoming study on international flights that might be more relevant to Australians.[/Edit]

    “The “best” time to buy actually depends on the season when you plan to travel.”

    Given that a substantial amount of travel for Australians is across-hemispheres, which seasons are we talking about: departure or destination seasons?

  • I don’t get it. Why would an article relevant only to America even be posted on a .au site? What’s next? “The best time to buy flights – in Japan” or “The best time to buy flights – in South Africa” … ???!

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