When is the best time to book flights for the cheapest airfare in 2024?

At TPG, our goal is to help you find the cheapest airfare. However, finding valuable airline deals depends on a few factors, including the timing of your booking. Flights during peak travel times such as spring break, summer, and holidays are often more expensive. In this article, we’ll explore the myths and truths about timing and airfare prices, and provide some tips to maximize your savings.

Many people believe that there is a specific day of the week that offers the cheapest airfare. You may have heard stories from friends or family members who claim to have found great deals by booking flights at specific times. However, according to airfare experts, these claims are mostly myths.

Lindsay Schwimer, a consumer travel expert at Hopper, a popular booking app, says that there is no magic day to book a flight. However, she does mention that there are certain booking windows when airlines tend to lower prices. Hopper relies on 10 years of data and 80 trillion flight prices to recommend the best time to book specific routes and dates. For domestic trips, Schwimer suggests monitoring prices three to four months in advance and booking one to two months in advance. Hopper offers a price tracking tool that can help you monitor flight prices.

When it comes to international trips, the window is a bit larger. Schwimer recommends monitoring prices six to seven months in advance and booking three to five months in advance. Planning ahead is key to getting the cheapest airfare for international travel.

It’s important to note that these recommendations may not apply if you are booking with points and miles. Airlines often open award space for business and first-class seats when the schedules open or at the last minute.

In terms of the best day to travel, midweek travel is generally cheaper than flying on weekends. Wednesdays are particularly recommended as they can save you nearly $100 off your ticket. Sundays can also be a sweet spot for cheaper airfare. Additionally, booking the first flight of the day can often save you money as these flights are less likely to be delayed or canceled.

Bob Harrell, an airfare consultant at Harrell Associates, suggests that airfare prices fluctuate Monday through Friday. Airlines look at customer demand and booking trends to decide whether to open or close certain types of fares and whether to raise or lower existing fares.

To take advantage of this information, consider using a price monitoring tool like Hopper’s Flight Watch tool. This tool can provide real-time updates on the price of your desired route and notify you when prices are at their lowest. Regardless of whether you use a tool or not, remember to start monitoring flight prices three to four months in advance and expect to book one to two months in advance.

When it comes to holiday travel, it’s best to book early. For spring break, start monitoring prices several months in advance and be ready to book about a month before your break. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, start monitoring prices in August and aim to book no later than mid-October. Prices will only rise as you get closer to the holidays. For New Year’s Eve, book before Halloween to secure the best deals.

In terms of hotels, you can often wait until much later to score good deals. Last-minute deals for hotels in big cities are common, especially during holiday weekends. During the Christmas holiday period, you can often find great last-minute deals.

In conclusion, while there is no specific day of the week that guarantees the cheapest airfare, there are certain booking windows and strategies that can help you maximize your savings. Start monitoring prices several months in advance, be flexible with your travel dates, consider midweek travel, and be prepared to book in advance for peak travel times. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding the cheapest airfare for your next trip.

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