What is the Best Day to Buy Airline Tickets?
Is there a magic day to find the cheapest airline tickets? Ultimately it depends on the route and the time of year, but according to the Preparing for Takeoff report published by Expedia and ARC, the best day to buy airline tickets is Tuesday at 3PM.
How far in advance should you buy airline tickets? “As early as possible” is a myth, but a good rule of thumb is at least 14 days in advance.
- The Expedia study found the lowest priced fares are usually 50 to 100 days out domestically and 150 to 225 days internationally. cheapest fares are 50-100 days out.
- Farecompare’s data suggests 30-90 days out domestically and 1 1/2 to 5 1/2 months out for international travel.
But this will vary based on destination and seasons. For Christmas travel last year, the best prices were to be had by booking in September or early October. And Expedia reports that some cities are more likely to offer discounts for advance purchases.
Atlanta and New York have shown the largest advanced purchase savings. Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean, on the flipside, offer the slimmest savings for advance purchases. Hawaii is a notable anomaly; travelers often receive the best airfare deals when booking one to three weeks in advance.
Ultimately there isn’t a magic day to buy airline tickets. The best strategy is to find out what the usual price for your destination is and use one of the many fare alert sites out there to track airfare sales so you can jump on a bargain.
Google Flights is great for getting a sense of prices.
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