The folks at QTrip are here to help.
- The site looked more than 917 million airfares in 8,000 markets to reveal the best and worst times to book U.S. domestic flights.
- Last year the least expensive airfares were usually available 77 days before departure.
- Last year airfares changed an average of 54 times, and by $34.
- The “Prime Booking Window” to book flights is between 21 and 127 days before departure, when the average airfare will be within 5% of their low point.
- That booking window does change with seasons, with the best spring fares found 85 days out, 113 days out for summer, 77 days out for the fall and 49 for winter.
- A flight on Tuesday or Wednesday will cost about $100 less than a flight on Sunday, which is the most expensive day to travel.
The site also offered six different types of “Booking Zones,” which will definitely affect your travel booking. They include:
- First Dibs(315 to 202 days out) - You’ll spend about $50 more, but get the best seat and itinerary options.
- Peace of Mind(201 to 128 days out) - You’ll spend about $30 more but get a good balance of options.
- Prime Booking Window(127 to 21 days out) - Book here to land within 5% of the lowest price.
- Push Your Luck(20 to 14 days out) - Your chances of a deal are slim, but not impossible.
- Playing with Fire(13 to 7 days out) - There will be even fewer options, with much higher prices.
- Hail Mary (0 to 6 days out) - These fares, usually used for emergencies, will likely cost as much as $200 extra.