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Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Best Time to Book a Flight

Above, over the Nevada desert en route to Las Vegas. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Planning on doing some air travel this year?

You may be wondering, When is the best time to book your flights? Well, Travel + Leisure has posted an article on just that. It covers both domestic and international flights.

They begin it with:

Finding the best flight deals is a bit of an art form, but there's also some science — or at least economics — involved. There are only two definitive rules: Flights open for booking about a year in advance, and the airfare will change often between then and takeoff. So, as a general rule of thumb, you'll want to book plane tickets well in advance, as prices spike sharply in the days preceding the flight, taking advantage of any last-minute travelers who have no choice but to pay up.

But there are many variables that impact the dynamic pricing patterns of plane tickets, including the destination and time of year. In some cases, you can book just a couple of weeks in advance, while in others, you're better off reserving months ahead (such as a trip over a big travel holiday, when demand is high).

While travel has been upended by the pandemic for the past two years, we're seeing numbers return to normal — in its January 2022 Consumer Airfare Index Report, airfare tracking site Hopper predicts airfare will reach 2019 levels by April 2022. That said, given the general uncertainty regarding potential new variants, travelers are still holding off on booking flights until their travel dates approach, much as they did in 2020 and 2021. 

Nonetheless, good deals are still all about big-picture timing, and while travel logistics are more in flux these days, most airlines now waive change fees, making it easier for travelers to book well in advance and shift plans later, if need be.

The bottom line is that scoring the best flight deals can be tricky — and the pandemic's impact on travel and the airline industry has added more than a few challenges. But we're here to help you find the best flights for your upcoming travel. Our first tip: Start tracking flight prices as early as possible so you can keep an eye on cost fluctuations. Use Google Flights or Hopper to receive price change notifications about your tracked flights. 

To read more, go here

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