If you are a regular traveler, you may be aware of the fact that international airfare pricing strategies differ from that of domestic airlines. You may find a huge difference in the airfare of the same airline on different days of the week. While this difference may not be significant for domestic flights, for international flights, it is large enough to influence your travel plans. There is often a lot of confusion over when to buy and what is the best time to buy airline tickets. This article aims at minimizing the ambiguity that might arise over the best time to buy plane tickets.
Cheapest Days to Fly International
The most expensive days to fly international or domestic are from Friday through Monday. Airfare hike is announced by leading airlines by Friday evening. Therefore, those choosing to fly on weekends have to bear higher fares. The air fare pricing is based on the simple rule of demand-supply. As most people choose to fly on weekends, airplanes are filled to their maximum capacity. Thus, airline companies can afford to hike prices as they know their tickets will sell anyway. However, weak competitors may try to attract passengers by offering tickets at lower prices, at the end of the week. Eventually, several other companies follow suit. By Monday morning, even the most strongest of the airline companies are dragged in the fare war. By Tuesday evening or Wednesday afternoon, the fare war dies down, offering lowest possible airfares for you. This is exactly when you should take the plunge and book your tickets. The airfare prices remain fairly reasonable until Thursday. Come Friday, and the entire cycle repeats itself. In short, the cheapest days to fly international are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
How to Buy Cheap Airline Tickets
Now that you know what is the best time to buy cheap airline tickets, you can sure take advantage and save hundreds of dollars. Besides, there are certain other tips and tricks that enable you to avail huge discounts on airline tickets. Follow these tips while buying plane tickets online.
Be Flexible with Your Schedule
If you have strict requirements regarding date, day of travel, then you might find it difficult to avail good discounts. Those who can afford to reschedule their travel plan by a day or two can get lowest possible airfares. You can yourself check how a strict schedule affects the ticket rates. Go to any airline booking website and search for flights for a particular destination for particular dates of departure and arrival. Now repeat the search by allowing flexibility in dates. Compare the rates.
Book Well in Advance
How early can you book your tickets to avail maximum discounts is one question that you might want to be answered. Although, three weeks before your planned departure is generally considered as a good time to book tickets, you may avail even greater discounts if you book before that. If you have a travel plan ready months before your scheduled trip, there is no harm in booking your flight one or two months in advance. However, avoid booking your flight more than 3 months in advance as you may have to deal with flight reschedules, cancellations etc. Besides, the tickets won't come cheaper at this time.
Time Your Travel
Certain times in a year mean great business for airlines. Holiday season, festivals are the times, when airlines make hay. This is exactly the time, you should avoid flying (of course, if you can help it!). Also, opt for red eye flights if waking up in the middle of night and heading towards airport suits you. These flights offer cheaper fares than rush hour flights.
Opt for Multiple Flights Function
Some airlines offer huge discounts when you opt for multiple flights function, which essentially means boarding the flight for one destination and returning from the other. For instance, you take a London bound flight from New York for your departure, but select Amsterdam as your destination for boarding a flight on your return journey.
Opt for Direct Flight Against Non-stop
Direct flights (with one stop) are monetarily beneficial than non-stop flights, more so, during long hauls. If you are traveling towards far east or down under, then a direct flight with a stopover in Europe or Middle East is far more profitable than a non-stop one.
All said and done, there is still bound to be a lot of unpredictability in airfares due to changing airline trends. You can opt for facilities like fare alerts offered by some websites which inform you when there is a drop in airfares.