When to book to get cheapest flights?
June 28, 2009 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Given that the airlines are reducing the numbers of flights due to the economic downturn, what is the optimal time to book cheap flights? In the past, I've had great success booking domestic flights 2-3 days before. This time, we will be booking 2 round trip tickets. I just booked a flight from the western US to Montreal for my husband, three weeks ahead, as we found the planes were filling up rapidly. We didn't get much of a deal. Standby is not on option as I'll be flying with an autistic person. Any and all hive-mind thoughts are welcome. Thanks!
posted by ragtimepiano to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
See farecast.com for a decent predictor. Without a specific airline it's hard to make a prediction.
posted by mohrr at 2:42 AM on June 29, 2009

I haven't seen any changes in the pattern. I bought two different tickets in the last month, both on 2 days notice, very cheap. This is common and has been for years.
posted by rokusan at 7:51 AM on June 29, 2009

FareCompare is a useful site. You can see prices on a given route for months ahead. They also send you an alert when the price drops on a route. Might come in handy while you're waiting until the last minute.

And, yes, flights fill up earlier these days.
posted by justcorbly at 3:58 PM on June 29, 2009

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