Ever wondered if there’s a magic number of days before a flight when tickets are at their cheapest?
Science has an answer: 70 days before takeoff is now, on average, when flights within the continental U.S. are at their absolute lowest price. And if you don’t nail 70 days ahead of your trip, you should usually book between 21 to 121 days in advance ― within a so-called “prime booking window” ― for the lowest possible prices.
At least, that’s what newly released data tells us. The folks at CheapAir analyzed 917 million fares for 3 million trips taken in 2017, tracking ticket prices from about 320 days before takeoff all the way up to the day before. They calculated precisely which day each fare hit its lowest point, noting that the current cheapest day average ― 70 days in advance ― is earlier than last year’s sweet spot of 54 days.
Some travelers may believe they’ll find the lowest of low prices when they book either at the last minute or as early as a flight is offered. This, according to present data, is clearly false.