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Knowing if you're getting the best rate when choosing a flight to go where you need to be can be a real pain. We all know that there are other travelers out there who, despite looking for the "best time to buy flights" multiple times, end up purchasing that pricey aircraft ticket. Because airfare is a dynamic variable, a solution that works one year may not the following. The 10th annual Airfare Study, compiled by ticket booking website CheapAir, details the best ways to save money on domestic flights in 2024.
Topics covered in the research include optimal flight booking days and times, prime booking windows and zones, optimal flight booking months and days of the week, and the impact of seasonality on travel. The research team at CheapAir examined over a billion airfare fares in eight thousand U.S. markets using their own first-party data.
The research indicated that in 2024, 42 days prior to trip is the optimal time to buy domestic plane tickets. Consider your travel dates, budget, and destination while deciding when to book. Finding the best offer depends on these three things, which might also affect the size of that booking window. Preparing too much in advance actually ends up costing you more. According to the research, the best time to buy tickets is between 21 and 74 days in advance, but between 206 and 315 days in advance, the prices are 36% higher. Booking seven to thirteen days before to departure is approximately 26% more expensive than the prime window, which is worse than booking late but better than booking extremely last minute, which is approximately 59% more expensive than the prime window.
For the second year running, CheapAir has determined that Wednesday is the most affordable day to fly, despite the fact that the premise that flying on a less popular travel day of the week will result in reduced pricing has been argued by travel experts. On average, you may save $103 by flying on a Wednesday instead than the most costly day of the week, Sunday. Along with days, January and February are the least expensive months to fly, while November and July are the most expensive.
You can enter your location into CheapAir's "Best Time to Buy Flights" widget and receive the best dates to fly and when to book your tickets if you want to go more into the ideal time to fly.
When it's cheapest to book a flight, according to CheapAir's statistics
- On average, you may save $102 by booking your flight on a Wednesday rather than a Sunday, the most costly day of the week.
- Between 21 and 74 days before to departure, and again between 75 and 205 days before departure, is when most people want to buy their plane tickets. You should expect to pay more on average if you book more than 21 days before your journey or if you book less than 21 days in advance.
- Flight prices are lowest in January and February. When compared to the most expensive months to fly, November and July, booking a flight in January can save tourists roughly $125.
- On average, there are 49 price adjustments for a ticket during its sale, at an average of $95 per change.
- According to the numbers, the average price difference for cheap plane tickets is less than $1 per day of the week.
- Traveling in the winter is the most budget-friendly option, while summer and fall are the most expensive.