But there’s always more to savvy airfare booking than meets the eye.
According to CheapAir.com, it doesn’t matter if you book your airfare on a Tuesday,
or a Saturday, or really, any other day. What does matter is how far ahead you book.
They reviewed 1.3 billion airfares that were searched and booked on their site to
pinpoint exactly when the best values were secured, and now, the consensus is in:
when it comes to domestic fares, 54 days is the magic number.
But it’s never black and white when it comes to booking fares. For the purposes of their study, the data analysts at CheapAir reviewed how prices fluctuated for 3 million different trips over the course of nearly a year. They tracked prices for 320 days leading up until the given departure date, and watched as a trend line emerged. What it revealed: there’s a sweet spot for domestic fares that CheapAir calls the “Prime Booking Window,” and it spans from 21 to 112 days ahead of your departure date.
Of course, it doesn’t take data scientists to know that booking more than six months out—or less than three weeks out—will bump up prices. The real nuance in airfare pricing depends on your points of departure and arrival, and several other services have dedicated themselves to predicting the best time to book according to your specific route.