If you have, at least once in a lifetime, searched for flight tickets, you are probably aware that their prices change frequently. The prices of airline tickets have much greater fluctuations than the prices of other products that we buy in everyday life. That certainly can be frustrating factor, like when the ticket you decided to buy today, suddenly becomes $50 more expensive than yesterday. This article will try to sum up when it is best time to buy airline ticket.
An established website that deals in tickets conducted a research which included 4,191,533 flights, in order to find out when is the best time to buy airline tickets. They looked at changes in prices of flights from 320 days before the flight until the day of the flight, to help passengers buy their tickets at the right time. According to their results, the best time to purchase ticket is 54 days before the flight! This particularly applies to flights within the same continent.
When it comes to transoceanic flights or flights to distant destinations, best time to buy airline tickets is up to 120 days before the flight.
For example, if you are booking a flight from Europe, to fly to another place on that same continent, it is best to buy your ticket 54 days in advance, and it should be 122 days in advance if you are flying to Australia, 88 days for South America, 101 for North America, 65 for Middle East, 107 for Africa and 102 days for Asia.
And what the research say about the worst time to buy a ticket?
A few days before the flight, as you would expect. However, a similar situation can happen if you buy your ticket too early, especially as soon as they become available, because in this situation you are both losing the possibility to catch special offers and possible discounts that will start later. Price of ticket will start to fall, getting lower by about 40% of the original price, hitting the smallest value 54 days before the flight.
After that the price will start to rise again, and period of about 14 days before the flight, which is proved to be the worst time to buy airline tickets. The only exception to these rules are flights around major holidays like New Year, Christmas, Easter … For flights during these periods, you better buy your ticket earlier to get it cheaper, because it is unlikely that prices on these flights will decline as much as prices of flights in other parts of the year. There is a greater chance that flight will be completely booked, so airlines have no reason to reduce the price of tickets, simply because they know they will sell them.
The golden rule would therefore be, do not buy tickets too early, nor too late. When searching for tickets, start looking about 3 months before the flight to find yourself the best deal.