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This Is How Far Out You Should Book a Flight for the Cheapest Fare, According to a New Study

The study also revealed the best days to travel for the best price.

<p>d3sign/Getty Images</p>

d3sign/Getty Images

A new study is solving the eternal question of when to book your flight for the best price.

According to CheapAir.com's Annual Airfare Study, booking a ticket at least three weeks before departing, and no more than 2.5 months in advance, is the sweet spot for snagging the best flight deal.

“This year’s Prime Booking Window extends all the way up to about 3 weeks from your travel date. In 2024, you can wait a little longer to buy, and the window where you will find the lowest fares extends to about 2.5 months out,” the report reveals.

The report, which is the result of analyzing over 917 million airfares across the United States, also warned that travelers who wait until less than a week out from a planned trip to book a flight will be paying 59 percent more.

On the other hand, for airline passengers who book their ticket too early, such as 280 days before a flight, they may be paying higher prices, almost as much as if they booked the ticket last-minute, the report finds.

The report also claims to disprove a travel hack that there are days when airline tickets are cheaper than others. 

“Data clearly shows that the average low fare varies by less than $1, no matter what day of the week you buy an airline ticket,” the report highlights.

However, CheapAir.com finds that "the day of the week you choose to travel on does make a difference in price," and determined that the cheapest day of the week to travel is Wednesday. And that, additionally, midweek flights will almost alway be cheaper.

Travelers may also consider how flexible the airline is with change and cancellation fees. If a price drops, they could potentially rebook the ticket to snag the difference in fare. The report shares that prices change 49 times on average, and can be a swing of as much as $100. 

Airlines also regularly run promotional deals and discounts on flight routes using money or loyalty miles. For example, United Airlines has a special page that spotlights current deals and promotions

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