Ever wondered when is the best time to catch the best airline deals? Are you looking for cheap flights? How is that you ended buying your tickets for $200 more than the person sitting next to you in the coveted window seat? How is that fair? It’s all about timing.
When is the best time to buy airline tickets?
Before I answer that question, I will let you in on a small secret. Airlines use something called airline revenue management software that calculates prices real-time and seats are sold based on what’s going to keep those planes flying and making money. It gives the airlines the upper hand but it’s still possible to find the cheapest fares possible.
Here are tips on the best time to catch the lowest fares:
Don’t be in a hurry to buy your plane tickets
If your travel plans are 9 months away or more, this is not the time to buy. Airlines assume that most amateur travelers will want to book flights to their destination as early as possible. Remember that airline revenue software that I mentioned earlier? You can kiss you those hard-earned dollars goodbye. So calm down you have plenty of time. Start actively looking for the lowest prices 3-4 months before your trip.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your plane tickets
Every once in a while you might get lucky and catch that last-minute deal. However, survey says airlines figure that at this point you’re desperate and will pay about anything for your plane ticket.
Don’t buy your plane tickets round trip
There’s nothing that says you must buy your plane tickets round trip from the same airlines. Do some comparison shopping. On my trip to Savannah earlier this year, I purchased my plane ticket to Savannah for $89.00. For the return to Chicago, I flew American for $180. The reason why I paid more for the ticket to Chicago? I procrastinated until the last minute to buy the airline ticket.
Best Days to Buy Airline Tickets
I’ve been told that this is an old wives tales but I swear by it. Most people are off on the weekend so that is the time folks are searching for good prices. Forget it, you won’t find any. High demand=High prices. I swear by the Tuesday/Wednesday morning rule. This is the best time to purchase great deals because most of us in the U.S. are at work so low demand=perfect time for a drop in airfare. Mondays and Fridays are the 2nd worse time to find cheap flights because those are days that people call off work, thus increase in demand which means high prices. Sounds half-baked but this rule has served me well over the years.
My picks for best airfare websites
Shop around. Some airfare sites (not all) charge a ticketing or booking fee that increases the actual price of the airfare. My favorite site for comparison shopping for the best airline deals is Airfare Watchdog.
Here is a list of other sites:
I must add another site; Southwest.com. Although this site only focuses on one airline there’s no getting past the fact that being able to bring your luggage along with you free of charge is very attractive. And if you book at least two weeks in advance and/or during one of their promotions, you can save lots of money.
*Please note: None of the above links are affiliate links.
Tip for the Older Woman Solo
Traveling by yourself allows you to be flexible when it comes to travel dates. Use that flexibility to score the cheap tickets by traveling on the cheap days; Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday.
So if you’re seated in a window seat for your next flight (aisle seat for those of us who hate crawling over folks to get the bathroom) and you’ve paid the proverbial sweet spot for that plane ticket be sure to stop by this blog and tell mama all about it.