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Thread: Airfare - when's the cheapest time to book?

  1. #1
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Airfare - when's the cheapest time to book?

    I just got pinged by one of the travel sites that the airfare I'm looking at dropped from 524 to 516 (this is RT from Anchorage, AK to Seattle, AK... we don't have flights like Southwest. this is one of the many price gouging issues we have up here).

    when is the cheapest time (days and months) to book? I'm not flying until November and I don't want to book now and have it drop to the 400s... *sigh*

  2. #2
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    My friend and I had this discussion when we were planning our trip to Vegas. If I recall correctly, the cheapest flights are usually offered after midnight Tuesday into Wednesday. The theory is that business people tend to book flights during the latter part of the week for the following week.

    Also, 2 weeks before a flight tends to be cheaper because the airlines will try get the planes filled up. With this, you have to consider the calendar - i.e. is there a holiday, is there a special event happening at your destination? etc.

    Note: a co-worker was supposed to fly to Florida this Saturday AM. She thought about paying the fee to fly out Friday night to avoid being grounded due to the snow storm, but all teh flights are booked because of Super Bowl.

  3. #3
    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    What we did for Vegas was watch the fares weekly for several months ahead of time. Thus, if you note a change, you'll have a better idea you should jump on the price or not. As for November flights, I don't believe that there will be many airlines offereing deals on those flights right now.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyang View Post
    My friend and I had this discussion when we were planning our trip to Vegas. If I recall correctly, the cheapest flights are usually offered after midnight Tuesday into Wednesday. The theory is that business people tend to book flights during the latter part of the week for the following week.
    Actually, most US airlines load their updated fares into the computers once a week, and it's usually around midnight Tuesday. Some also update award seat availability then as well. So savvy consumers and frequent flyers know to jump on the internet or the phone lines and look in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, on a regular basis. There may be some variation between airlines, and I'm not sure what timetable non-US airlines follow. But Alaska is a bit of a special case due to geography and lack of competition, so sadly, it may not matter all that much for that particular market.

    Recommend joining (for free) or just lurking on www.flyertalk.com. I've saved a ton of money in the last few years by heeding the insider tips and wise advice given there on all sorts of travelling matters.

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