Despite the fact that the travel industry is bouncing back, there are a number of people who simply cannot afford to fly. That is why many travellers continue to look for the cheapest rates and the best times to fly. According to CheapAir, the best time to fly is 54 days before take-off. By booking a domestic flight 54 days early, travellers can usually save around £190.
This study by CheapAir also shows that the worst possible time to travel is at the last minute. Booking a flight one day before departure is a sure-fire way to land the highest-priced ticket. At the same time, customers who book too far in advanced suffer from increased prices that are almost as bad as last-minute bookings. This is because tickets for most domestic flights go on sale nearly 331 days before the flight departs. During the first four months or so, these prices are very high. There is a small window of time when the tickets are the perfect price.
For consumers who cannot afford to wait to buy tickets until 54 days before take-off, the CheapAir survey suggests that they buy tickets between day 225 and 104. Tickets are usually within a good £6 of their lowest price. Consumers may not be getting the best prices this way, but it does ensure that they get a seat. This can come in handy when trying to book tickets to an event that the consumer cannot afford to miss.
CheapAir said that after day 225, tickets continue to fall in price until they reach their lowest point around day 54. After this point, the ticket prices start to go back up again. The company said that it found that most flights have around 92 fare changes before they actually take off. Thus, the price that someone sees on day one will not be the same price that someone pays a few months later. On that same note, a person who buys a flight at the last minute does not get the same price as someone who purchases a ticket over a month in advance.
The difference in price from the best day to buy a ticket to the worst is around £190 or $312, according to CheapAir. Knowing when to buy a ticket is not just a matter of saving a little bit of money. It is the difference between saving hundreds.
This research backs what other companies have found in similar studies. Skyscanner recently revealed a study that showed that the best time to buy a ticket is five weeks in advance. This is pretty much in line with what CheapAir believes.
Mary Porter of Skyscanner said that the company has analysed nearly three years of data. This data represents over 200 million searches. By looking at this data, the team at Skyscanner found that five weeks before a departure is the best time to book a flight. That being said, it really depends a lot on the destination.