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How Early Should I Book My Flight?

How Early Should I Book My Flight?


How early should I book my flight? A study by CheapAir shows that the best time to book a flight is 54 days before departure date. That gives you a nice chunk of time to find the airline you want and find a deal you are comfortable with. But booking exactly on the 54th day is unrealistic so use the window of time of 29-104 days before the flight. If you can avoid it don’t book last minute. The worst day to book is the day before, followed by two days before, but booking even a week in advance can have some troubles. I often book my flight on Tuesdays, because they seem to be the cheapest day to buy tickets. Booking too early has its fair share of problems but it is better than too late. It does allow for a bit of leeway in case you need to change or cancel a flight.

Often time’s length of flight has nothing to do with the price of flights. It has to do with how many people wanting the same flight. If the flight is booked to capacity the airlines will charge a higher price because the demand is so high and people will pay it. Beware, though, of unpopular flights or under booked flights. The prices of those tend to be high as a certain amount has to be bought for the plane to take off. Try booking a flight to a medium to big airport that has flights coming and going constantly.

The window of time for international flights is a slightly different. Some flights can be booked closer to takeoff while some need to be purchased well in advanced. It depends on the country. Look online for testimonies of people who have traveled their recently or ask a travel agent.

Try leaving on a weekday instead of a weekend to get the most value. Weekend travel is more popular and can lead to higher prices but there are often more flights on weekends. It depends on the time of the year and your preferred airline. Now you can effectively answer the question: How early should I book my flight?

Cathryn Yandric is a graduate of the University of Michigan Dearborn. She is an avid reader and blogger.

Questions? Just ask.