A study published Wednesday reveals the best times to buy domestic airline tickets by unpacking 917 million airfares in more than 8,000 markets across the United States.
On average, the best day to buy a domestic flight is 76 days before departure, 12 days earlier than 2021, according to the CheapAir.com report. Fares changed 53 times after going to market, significantly fewer times compared to 69 times last year. There are multiple factors to consider when booking travel, including price, seating and flight experience, and these all play a role in how far in advance to book for the best deal.
“Our goal has always been to make it easy for people to connect,” said CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee. “This year that is more important than ever as while it is safe again to travel, airfare prices are also rising. The information we are sharing today provides patterns and trends to help people make the best decisions that work for them and how they want to travel.”
If price is the main consideration, CheapAir.com says that travelers should purchase their airfare approximately four months to three weeks in advance of departure. This sweet spot consistently yields the lowest prices for airfare. Compared to last year, this window is one month longer to accommodate today’s climate of increased travel demand, labor shortages, supply chain issues, rising gas prices and more. To be safe, the key this year is to book early.
This year’s study revealed additional insights to help travelers make the most informed decision when buying flights:
- The cheapest day of the week to fly is Wednesday, saving on average $57 per airline ticket compared to the most expensive day, Sunday.
- The least expensive months to fly are January and February, saving approximately $100 compared to flying around the Christmas holiday.
- For summer vacation plans, August is the most economical month to fly offering better value without the crowds.
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