The Best Time To Buy Plane Tickets

It seems there’s nothing more volatile than the stock market, right?  Well, maybe the only thing that is more volatile is plane ticket prices.  They just go up, down, and all over the place.  What I want to share with you this week is some research that I’ve read up on and used myself.  This tried and true method landed me two tickets this year from Connecticut… 1. Round trip with 2 free bags non-stop to Dallas for $188, and 2. Round trip with 2 free bags 1 stop to Nashville for $152.  This stuff works!  Here’s the simple 3 step process I use…

1.  Buy 6 to 8 Weeks Before Departure

Start looking on the 8th week out and look each week until you find the deal you are looking for.  I also recommend checking all the airports in a radius of your home.  You never know what you might find!

2.  Buy Between Tuesday Afternoon and Thursday Afternoon

So we’ve got the radio station tuned in and now it’s time to fine tune it.  The best deals are found between Tuesday afternoon local time and Thursday afternoon local time.  Sometimes it’s even overnight when everyone is asleep!  In my experience it tends to be early morning (i.e. 6am or 7am) on Wednesday or Thursday but it really depends on what you are searching for.

3.  Set Kayak Price Watches

In order to stay on track of this stuff and easily set it and forget it, I recommend Kayak.  By creating a free account with Kayak you can search for flights and set various price watches.  You can then tweak each of them to alert you weekly, daily, or multiple times a week on certain days.  Here’s an example below…

I’ll create a price alert for every airport in a 2 hour radius and if I have flexibility of dates I will create one for each airport with each different date range.  This can add up but once you create them you don’t have to change them for months and you start to see what are the best options.  Also, pay special attention to the results and check them as sometimes it looks low but it is showing the lowest option at that time which may not be a favorable travel time, airline, or baggage fee scenario. So, consider all costs.

BONUS TIP – Use Fare Detective’s Fare History Tool

This great tool on www.faredetective.com/farehistory allows you put in any two airport codes and see the price history.  It’s a great way to look at the month you are traveling and find what the average fare is and compare it to the deals you are seeing in your alerts.  Check out the example below and then give it a spin (just ignore the website pop-ups)!

 

Question: How much do you think this strategy will save you next time you travel?  Share in the comments below!