Book early to combat the competitive travel environment
CheapAir.com published its 9th annual Airfare Study, taking a look at 917 million flight prices in more than 8,000 markets across the United States to determine the best times to buy domestic airline tickets. The analysis provides travelers with necessary insights to navigate the competitive landscape and get the best airfare value.
According to the study, on average, the best day to buy domestic flights is 70 days before departure, which is six days earlier than 2022's study. When booking airline tickets, there are many factors that impact how far in advance travelers should secure their flights. Seat location, flight experience, destination, and price all determine when to purchase in order to receive the best deal.
"At CheapAir.com we utilize our first-hand data to provide a fully transparent booking experience, recognizing there is not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to travel. We understand how important it is, especially with last year's complications, to share relevant trends and tips to help consumers make the best travel decisions," said CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee.
In 2023, the booking window that offers the lowest flight prices is approximately 1.5 to 5.5 months before departure. This is slightly earlier than previous years when travelers could wait up to three weeks before departure and is likely the result of today's high travel demand, staffing shortages, and fluctuating fuel prices. In order to secure the best deals on flights this year, the message is consistent: book early.
To help consumers make the most informed purchasing decisions, CheapAir.com's 2023 Domestic Airfare Study revealed these additional insights:
- Wednesday is the cheapest day of the week to fly, saving on average $100 per airline ticket compared to the most expensive day, Sunday.
- February is the least expensive month to fly with January following closely behind. Flying in February will save travelers approximately $114 compared to flying in December, the most expensive month to fly (followed by July).
- Airfares remain volatile. From the time a trip first goes on sale, fares change 49 times on average and change by an average of $43 each time.
- There is no best day of the week to buy an airline ticket. Data shows that the average low fare varies by less than $1, no matter what day of the week travelers purchase airline tickets.
- The summer travel season requires the earliest timeline to take advantage of the lowest flight prices. Winter, excluding peak holidays, is the bargain season to travel with the shortest window to purchase airline tickets than any other season.
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