New Data Predicts Best, Worst Time to Buy Airline Tickets

The travel booking platform Qtrip recently released its sixth annual airfare study on the best and worst times to bur airline tickets in 20202.  The study’s data is based on an analysis of 917 million airfares in more than 8,000 markets.

Below are some of the study’s highlights:

  • On average, the least expensive airfares were available 77 days before departure in 2019. That’s up from 76 days in 2018, 70 in 2017, and 54 days between 2013 and 2015.
  • In 2019, airfares changed an average of 54 times by $34 each swing. This is down from 61 changes in 2018 and 62 in 2017.
  • The day you fly is much more important than the day of week you buy. On average, a flight traveling on Tuesday or Wednesday is $100 less than the same itinerary on Sunday, which is by far the most expensive day to travel. However, contrary to some popular myths, the day of the week that you go online to buy your tickets still doesn’t matter.
  • The best fares appear 85 days out in spring, 113 days out in summer, 77 days out in fall, and just 49 days out in winter. Excluding the December holidays, winter offers the best deals. Summer will cost $25 extra on average.