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 when you purchase your ticket can mean a difference of literally hundreds of dollars, depending on where you’re travelling to.
Travel booking site CheapAir.com 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 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 the best day of the week to buy—CheapAir says that’s not true. Airfare during the week traditionally doesn’t fluctuate more than $2 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.
Credit: Emily Price for LifeHacker, 31 March 2018.