Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When Should You Book Your Flight Well In Advance?

Aruba Bound
Generally the travel experts recommend that you book air travel no more than 7 weeks in advance.

Today I would like to take a moment to contradict that advice, especially if you are flying during a peak travel time such as Christmas.

For our upcoming visit to Aruba over Christmas and New Years, we purchased our tickets on February 23 for $709.40. Today, September 3, the price for the same itinerary is $1648 per person. That is for a coach class seat in both directions.

How far in advance should you book a flight to grab the lowest price? Here’s some advice for a variety of popular routes.
“Consumers have been getting the best prices a bit further out year over year,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data and analytics at the Airlines Reporting Corporation.

Sure, it’s possible that if travelers pull back on spending, airlines will be forced to cut prices, allowing travelers to nab a cheap summer flight to, say, Barcelona, as little as three weeks out.

“If they don’t see bookings materialize the way they’d like, they will put the route on sale,” said Henry H. Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst."
As I have said over the years, it is all about supply and demand. If you are flying to Aruba in the middle of December when demand is at its lowest, then yes, go ahead and take that chance of getting a bargain 7 or 8 weeks out. However if not, be prepared to pay extra than you would have if you booked your ticket 8 months out inside of 8 weeks.