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

Domestic US: 54 days before your flights
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

From the Huffington Post, the numbers above are all based on a analysis performed by CheapAir:

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.

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.

Check out the full details and analysis here.


The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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UnitedEF March 2, 2014 - 10:07 am

What kind of idiot thinks they are getting the best deal the day before the flight!?!?! Please show that idiot to my business in would love to have a boost in profits!

Alex March 2, 2014 - 10:21 am

UnitedEF –

The idiot who believes (incorrectly) that the airline would rather discount a seat at the last minute and make something on it than have it fly empty. There’s a whole raft of “last minute travel” sites that perpetuate this exact myth.

People also believe it (and who knows whether it is more true or not) for cruises, hotel nights and other travel items on the same basis.

Kris March 2, 2014 - 10:57 am

I have not met a single person who thought last minute bookings were the cheapest. That said, I have had a few trips where booking 1-3 days before travel was about the same as months/weeks out.

Alex (@NoviceFlyer) March 2, 2014 - 2:01 pm

I’ve seen 14 days out and further out about the same. Unless they have fire sales.

DaninSTL March 2, 2014 - 6:32 pm

I’m sure this isn’t an exact science but these average numbers could be helpful.
Nice post. Thanks.


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