FeaturesMembership Tips

Booking Airfare Online…And The Best Times to Book

Booking airfare can be frustrating. Prices seem to fluctuate daily, multiple sites and multiple platforms claim to have the best fares, and it can be incredibly difficult knowing where to start. We’re here to help.

When using your membership portal and our exclusive airfare booking engine, you’ll get easy access to nearby airports, all times available, and all airlines available. And don’t worry, any rewards or loyalty programs you may participate in can still be utilized when booking your airfare as a member.

Now that you know the best place to go to book your airfare online, it’s time to consider when the best time to purchase your tickets may be.

Trying to guess the opportune moment to purchase tickets is very difficult, if not totally impossible. Airline ticket costs fluctuate constantly. In fact, during the typical 11-month period a flight is listed, the price changes every four and a half days on average, according to CheapAir.com’s annual airfare study. While it can be a challenge to find the absolutely best deal on your airfare, there are certainly better times than others to purchase and it all depends on where and when you plan to travel.

The ideal time to book domestic and/or international flights are between 21 and 105 days in advance; in particular, 54 days in advance. Since you will generally be planning an international trip a little further in advance, you’ll want to shop between 1 1/2 and 5 1/2 months in advance. Airlines will almost always price flights on the higher side at first, so purchasing too far in advance can cost you more money. Once suppliers get a sense of the market demand, prices will change accordingly. If demand is low, prices will fall. If demand is high, prices will increase. If you wait too long, seats fill up and the costs increase. Therefore, you’ll find a sweet spot for purchasing, usually two, three, or four months in advance — depending on where you’re flying.

Spikes and dips in cost can still occur, but your best chance to secure a ticket on the cheaper end lies within this window. You may have fewer seats and routes to choose from compared with when the flight was first announced, but competition, and therefore sales, will likely become more competitive as well. Additionally, Tuesday around 3pm EST tends to be the best time to buy tickets, but you can also find deals on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Another tip to consider when purchasing plane tickets is to always compare airfare prices. If you’re truly looking to find the best price on airfare, it’s important to compare several airlines and exercise flexibility on flight times. No one airline always has the cheapest prices for every route, every single time.

Contact a travel concierge or submit a travel request today.