#best deals on airfare
The Best Time to Buy Airfare
By shopping for a plane ticket in advance, it’s possible to book cheap. (Photo: airplane image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com )
Savvy travelers know that there are tricks to nabbing the best airfare deal. Popular methods include purchasing a significant span of time beforehand, during the destination s off-season and at the last minute. To utilize these methods effectively, it s best to narrow down the specifics of these techniques in order to get the best rate. After all, a ticket purchased 75 days in advance may not be a cheap as one bought 60 days beforehand.
Advance Ticket Purchase
Today Show travel editor Peter Greenberg notes that, while it s a good idea to buy a plane ticket in advance, buying airfare too far ahead may get a worse deal that waiting. He writes, Most airline fares are not discounted further out than 60 days, so I d recommend waiting until about 60 days before your flight date for international fares, about 40-45 days for domestic tickets. That way, the airlines have a good number of seats with a sizable discount. The exception to this rule is holiday tickets, which tend to sell out fast and at a higher price on average.
It s possible to maximize your dollar by waiting for the last minute. By waiting till that last few days before travel, a traveler might find an airline desperate to sell those late few seats for a cheap price. Aim to purchase the ticket during a non-rush hour period, and try to travel during a weekday. Since weekend travel is very common, those tickets are more apt to stay at a premium price than a flight that s not as in demand.
There are some urban myths that keep people from getting the most out of their travel dollars. One is the supposition that airlines raise rates on the weekends while keeping them low during the week. While it s true that many sales end on the weekend, it s not true that the airlines raises the list price on those days. What is true is Saturday is one of the cheapest days to fly. And Sunday is one of the most expensive days to fly, Seaney says.
There is also a myth that airlines keep their fares consistent throughout the course of one particular day. In reality, an airline may change a given fare up to three times in one day, with one change on the weekends.
To get the cheapest airfare possible for your destination, most travel industry experts agree that a three-week advance purchase will get you the best deal. Though some travelers insist that waiting for the last minute is optimal, this simply isn t true if flexibility is of prime importance. Planning ahead is probably still the best solution for landing the best deal, along with keeping a vigilant eye on travel sales.