The Best Time to Buy an Airline Ticket is…

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It’s the age-old question for all of us who love to travel – when is the best time to book a plane ticket?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried all of the tricks. I’ve tried buying tickets at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday because that’s supposedly the optimal time for deals. I’ve tried the midnight thing, Wednesdays, Thursdays and so on. So when exactly is the best time to purchase an airline ticket? Well the folks over at Huffington Post think they’ve found the answer. Here’s what they had to say:

Finally, there’s a scientific answer to that magic number of days before a flight when tickets are at their cheapest.

The answer? Are you ready? Are you reeeally ready?

Fifty-four days before takeoff is, on average, when domestic airline tickets are at their absolute lowest price. And if you don’t hit 54 days on the head, you should usually book between 104 to 29 days before your trip — within the “prime booking window” — for the lowest possible prices. In this window, ticket prices typically hover within $10 of the lowest price they’ll ever reach.

At least that’s what the data from 2013 tells us.

The folks at CheapAir spent the last year analyzing over four million airline trips. They tracked ticket prices from 320 days before takeoff all the way up until the day before, calculating precisely which day each one hit its lowest point.

Air travelers tend to believe they’ll find the lowest of low prices when they book “at the last minute.” This, according to all present data, is one hundred percent false.

The researchers found that, on average, a ticket was at its highest price on the day before the flight. The second-highest price was two days before the flight, the third-highest was three days before… and so on, all the way to 13 days before the flight.

This pretty much solidifies the rule that you should NEVER book your ticket within two weeks of a flight… a mistake that 36 percent of CheapAir users made when planning their trips.

Here are the “magic numbers” for some common international destinations:

  • Europe: 151 days before your flight
  • Asia: 129 days before your flight
  • The Caribbean: 101 days before your flight
  • Mexico: 89 days before your flight
  • Latin America: 80 days before your flight

So what does this mean for all of our off-island St. John lovers? It means that today’s the best day to buy a flight to St. John on June 20. Want to arrive the day before Thanksgiving? Buy your ticket on August 17. How about Christmas Day? You’ll want to do some airfare shopping on September 15.

Want some more tips on how to find the best airfare? Click here to read a few tips we printed last summer.

Happy travels!


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