Many studies have been done to assess when airfare is cheapest. Of course, actual circumstances will vary substantially depending on routes, dates (Superbowl in Atlanta anyone?) but there are some generalizations.
- International air. Most airline release flights about a year in advance. If you want to fly Business or First class, the best time to buy is 12 to 6 months out. Consolidator fares, especially on popular routes can provide substantial savings.
- Domestic air. When it comes to lead time for booking flights, three weeks out is often the sweet spot for savings. Book on weekends. Start your trip on Thursday or Friday to save. Add a Saturday night to your mid-week trip to save up to 25% on airfares, sometimes more for popular business destinations.
- Flying pre or post cruise? Check the fares the cruise line offers. Princess and Cunard are well known for offering great airfares.
Bottom line, there is no magic formula, but some of these tips can often result in savings for you.