Qtrip.com, a travel booking platform and sister brand of CheapAir.com, has announced the release of its 1st Annual Airfare Study that reveals the best and worst times to book US domestic flights, the company said.
The team crunched more than 917 million airfares in 8,000 markets. The study finds that airfares have become less volatile over the last few years, and the best deals appear progressively earlier.
Data from six consecutive years of the Annual Airfare Study show that the best time to buy flights for domestic US trips has changed significantly. On average, the least expensive airfares were available 77 days before departure in 2019. That´s up from 76 days in 2018, 70 in 2017, and 54 days between 2013 and 2015. In 2019, airfares changed an average of 54 times by USD 34 each swing. This is down from 61 changes in 2018 and 62 in 2017.
Buying airline tickets between 21 and 127 days before departure is ideal. Qtrip calls that the Prime Booking Window, when fares are on average are within 5% of their low point. The day you fly is much more important than the day of week you buy. On average, a flight traveling on Tuesday or Wednesday is USD 100 less than the same itinerary on Sunday, which is the most expensive day to travel. However, contrary to some popular myths, the day of the week that you go online to buy your tickets still doesn´t matter.
Between the day a flight is published (about 11 months out) and takeoff, airfares pass through a number of Booking Zones, each of which has opportunities and risks:
Qtrip is a new travel booking platform that offers improved choice, transparency, help and payment flexibility.