When it comes to purchasing a plane ticket in 2023, the pressure to locate an economical airfare or the best time to buy flights might feel downright overwhelming.
According to Hopper’s Consumer Trip Index, flight prices have been rising due to inflation, rising aircraft fuel costs, and increased demand following years of postponed trip plans. However, getting a good deal is still doable if you prepare beforehand.
Flights go on sale roughly a year in advance, and the price of a ticket might fluctuate significantly between that date and when the plane takes off.
We chatted with travel experts at various popular booking sites to find out when you should book a flight for the cheapest price.
But, before we get into the specifics of when to buy plane tickets to save money, we recommend entering your email address and trip details into a price-tracking site like Google Flights or Kayak, which monitors and compares flight prices across hundreds of airlines and travel sites.
When is the Best Time to Buy Flights?
On average, the “best day” to book cheap flights is 70 days before your departure date. Is this to say that you should always buy your airline ticket exactly 70 days before your departure date?
No. It will differ depending on your travel destination and dates (more on that later). It’s a good starting point for finding the best deal.
The volatility of any given airfare is another element that can influence the price. The price of a flight is likely to fluctuate several times during its lifetime.
In fact, fares vary 49 times on average from the moment a trip initially goes on sale, with each change costing an average of $43.
Factors Affecting Flight Ticket Prices
Are you about to purchase a flight and wondering why the costs keep fluctuating? The cost of a plane ticket is not constant, and it is affected by a variety of circumstances.
In this post, we will look at the various elements that influence flight ticket pricing and how you can save money on your next flight reservation.
Seasonality is one of the most important elements influencing flight ticket rates. Due to increased demand, airline tickets tend to be more expensive during peak travel seasons, such as holidays and summer vacations.
Flight ticket prices are often lower during off-peak seasons, such as winter and fall. If your vacation dates are flexible, book your flights during the off-season to save money.
Another key aspect influencing airline ticket prices is airline competition. When there is greater competition on a specific route, airlines try to cut their fares in order to attract customers.
When there is less competition, though, airlines can raise their prices. Compare the prices of multiple airlines before booking your journey to discover the cheapest offer.
Flight ticket rates are heavily influenced by fuel prices. When fuel costs rise, airlines must pay more to run their flights, resulting in higher ticket prices.
When fuel prices are low, airlines can offer lower fares. Keep an eye on gasoline prices and schedule your flight during low-priced periods.
Distance and Route
The length and route of your flight also have an impact on ticket prices. Longer flights are generally more expensive than shorter flights.
Direct flights are also more expensive than stopover trips. If your trip dates are flexible, you might save money by taking a flight with layovers.
Time of Booking
Another key factor influencing airplane ticket rates is the time of booking. In general, buying your flight ahead of time can help you save money.
The closer your departure date approaches, the more expensive the airplane tickets become. So, if you know when you’ll be traveling, book your flight as soon as possible.
Finally, demand influences airplane ticket costs significantly. When there is a great demand for a specific flight, airlines often raise their prices.
In contrast, when demand is low, airlines decrease their prices to fill the seats. To save money, keep an eye on the demand for your selected flight and book while it is low.
What Criteria Should I Use When Shopping for Flights?
There is nothing wrong with people shopping for plane tickets based only on price.
Our analysis will offer you the range of dates where you are most likely to find the cheapest flight for any given route.
However, if you want to have some options for your flight, such as where you sit on the plane, the size of the seat, and so on, you should start your search earlier, when there are more options available.
What’s the Best Day to Travel?
While airfare prices vary depending on when you book, flying midweek is likely to be less expensive than flying on weekends.
“Travelers who fly midweek, usually on Wednesday, can save an average of $56 per ticket on domestic airfare throughout the year,” according to Hopper data.
“Midweek savings spike over $60 per ticket during busy spring break and summer vacation months, while flying midweek over the holidays can save you $100 or more.”
The same is true for international travel: according to Hopper, a weeklong long-haul trip departing midweek costs $70 less than an identical flight departing on a weekend.
When to Book Flights for Summer Travel
If you haven’t already, now is the time to book your flights for summer vacation.
Finding foreign ticket prices or deals during popular summer travel periods requires five to six months of preparation ahead of time.
“If you’re traveling over a popular spring or summer long weekend, book three to four months in advance for the best prices and availability,” Berg suggests. “Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends tend to see sold-out flights and high prices if you don’t plan ahead.”
While there is no magical time or day of the week to purchase airfare for the best fares, flying midweek, notably Wednesdays, is your best bet for both domestic and international travel. Flying on the weekend typically carries a hefty price premium.
According to Harrell, the economics of air travel are similar to those of any other product.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the cheapest months to fly in 2023?
During the shoulder season, the temperature is still mild, and you’ll avoid the summer throngs. This is when we find the most affordable foreign flights!
How far out should I book flights in 2023?
Domestic flights are booked three to seven months in advance during peak season. International flights — four to ten months
What is the best day of the week to fly in 2023?
Wednesday will be the cheapest day of the week to fly in 2023.
How far in advance is the cheapest time to book a flight?
Flights are usually the cheapest when booked between four months and three weeks before departure.
In which month are international flights the cheapest?
The cheapest months to fly internationally are February and March.