I always think it’s usually bullshit what people say, like it’s cheaper to buy your tickets on Tuesdays, that kind of nonsense that you see online. Buying tickets usually has just been a crapshoot for me, no it is true….generally, that the closer you get to the time you want to fly OR if you buy way way in advance, the tickets tend to be higher, and for what it’s worth the Airlines Reporting Corporation, who i suppose tracks such things had a study come out which says the magic time to buy for domestic flights is 8 weeks before you want to travel and 24 weeks for international flights, apparently on average tickets were 19% and 27% cheaper respectively. So there.
Some other good tips to follow:
- Sign up for fare alerts, Airfarewatchdog is a good site and they’ll send you daily alerts on the best fares found for whatever routes you select
- Try to travel on off hours or off dates, travel on say a Monday or Tuesday is usually cheaper than a Friday or Sunday, or flights early or late in the day tend to be cheaper than midday
- Check out alternate airports, so like if you can fly into Oakland as opposed to San Francisco, the prices are sometimes a lot cheaper than the main regional airports.
- Be flexible in where you want to go if you can. Let’s just say you want to go somewhere warm, anywhere warm, don’t just look up flights to say Jamaica, but check out flights to all the Caribbean and Mexico, Google Flights is great for this, you select the dates you want and then it will show you on a map, the roundtrip airfare available to every destination, like every destination, and voila see what the cheapest destinations are south of here.
- Hold the ticket first without buying. By law if you buy your ticket from the US more than a week before departure, the airlines have to let you hold the ticket for at least 24 hours without making full payment and without penalizing you for canceling the hold.Each airline has a slightly different variation on this, some allow a hold for more than 24 hours, some charge you a holding fee, but they have to give you an option. I booked a ticket to London last fall, I saw a $765 roundtrip fare on British Airways, which seemed like a good deal, but I wasn’t sure it wouldn’t drop lower or that I for sure wanted to go. BA let me hold the reservation for 72 hours for $10, and if I never finalized the booking in 72 hours they kept the $10 and if I made the booking I got refunded the $10. Next day the airfare had gone up to almost $1,100 but I had it locked in at $765 and pulled the trigger after 24 hours