The Best Day to Buy Airline Tickets, According to 917 Million Airfares

Early birds, rejoice

April 2, 2018 9:00 am

When should you buy your airline ticket?

Whatever your answer, you’re probably wrong and already missed out on a great deal.

But here to provide some useful time parameters: CheapAir, a travel search engine that just released an enlightening study that scoured 917 million fares in more than 8,000 markets to determine the best time to book your flight.

Short answer: You’re probably a bit late to the game. But it’s not your fault!

The 2018 Airfare Study notes that the lowest fare for any trip changed an average of 62 times during its sale period. And each of those changes averaged a $36 increase or decrease.

The average best time to buy, however, was 70 days out, a considerable jump from a previous study’s conclusion of 54 days. However, CheapAir warns “the best time to book varied based on markets, travel dates and the individual traveler preferences.” Translation: There are a lot of variables, and the season plays an important role.

Not important? Which day of week you buy the ticket (though flying on a Tuesday or Wednesday will get you, on average, a lower rate).

The data points the CheapAir team looked at included the “prime booking window” (when flights are cheapest), how airfares trend from the first selling day until the day of the flight, best and worst days to fly to save money and seasonal airfare trends.

Want more info on when to buy cheap plane tickets? Google Flights has a timely feature we like, and apps like Bliss and Air Ticket Arena can also provide savings.

H/t Lifehacker


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.