According to a recent study by CheapAir.com that analyzed almost one billion transactions, the best time to pull the trigger on airfare to your dream destination is, on average, 70 days prior to the departure date. But that doesn’t mean you should only check fares on that exact date — what CheapAir calls the “Prime Booking Window” is actually a range of 46 to 164 days in advance.
Flyers might be tempted to purchase their tickets as soon as possible for the best selection of times, class of service, and seats, not to mention the ability to plan the rest of the trip such as booking hotels around concrete flight dates. Unfortunately, that peace of mind comes with a steep price tag because fares are seldom discounted seven to ten months in advance.
The logic behind CheapAir’s suggestion of booking 46 to 164 days out is that it’s still early enough to find times and seats that are acceptable to you, but with the potential for discounts and sales starting to kick in. As far as which particular month of the year represents the best bargain, January and February are typically the cheapest times to travel, while July and December are the most expensive.