Whether you’re booking on your own dime or you’re charging your next flight to your company card, chances are you’re always looking to find the most cost-effective route from here to there and everywhere. A recent survey from CheapAir.com shows the answer: an average of 49 days out from your travel dates for domestic flights. The survey combed through quite a bit of data to determine this figure - - more than 560 million fare search records, to be exact.
As travel costs continue to increase, this kind of information can be valuable when booking your next flight. Still, even with all that data analysis, all seasoned travelers recognize that that figure can vary. For example, when it comes to major holidays, the lead time nearly doubled to 96 days prior to scheduled travel dates. International flights are a different story, too. The study shows that it’s typically most affordable to book overseas flights 81 days before the trip.
“For practical purposes, it’s best to take this information as a guideline and not a rule,” Jeff Klee, founder and CEO, CheapAir.com, writes. “When you drill down deeper into the data, you see a lot of variation from market and trip to trip.”
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I’ve never used CheapAir.com before, so this isn’t an actual plug for the company. However, I did notice an element of their booking process that may make me consider booking through its search engine next time: a Price Drop Payback. Customers who purchase tickets can actually get up to a $100 voucher per ticket if the price decreases after the sale.