My Most Asked Question on Airfare
The question I am asked most often is "Should I purchase my airfare now or do you think the price will go down?". If only I had a working crystal ball that could answer that question! Unfortunately, I can't forsee the future and there are so many factors that determine the price of airfare, that is a question there is no answer for.
I recently read an article by Jayne Clark in USA Today in which she discussed an analysis that was done by CheapAir.com, based on 2012 airfare searches. According to their research, on average airfare prices bottomed out about seven weeks prior to travel dates, after which they seemed to increase slightly and then remained steady until about a month out. Prices then tended to climb as the travel date got closer. They also found that too much advance planning might not be a good idea either, with some of the higher prices being found about 7 months prior to the travel date, although the highest fares came with bookings made 11 or fewer days in advance.
I totally agree with the statement made by CheapAir.com CEO Jeff Klee who stated in this article, "For practical purposes, it's best to take this information as a guideline and not a rule, noting that a million caveats apply ... For any given flight, the actual best time to buy might vary, depending on the market, the time of the year, the day of week, and other factors." For example, if you had been looking for a flight into New Orleans for most of January and February, due to the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, you probably would have had a hard time finding available flights or reasonable prices within the last six months, let alone find a hotel room. Their analysis also found that for peak travel periods such as Thanksgiving, the best time to buy was almost 14 weeks in advance. If you have flown at all the last couple of years then you know that the airlines are flying totally full flights so if you wait until the last minute to try and book your flights, chances are if you can get a seat, it is not going to be in an ideal location and you may not be able to have your family seated together.
My best advice is to plan ahead as far in advance as possible, whether it be for airfare, hotels, tours, cruise or resort vacations, especially if you are looking to travel during peak travel times such as the major holidays, summer vacation or spring break. With the exception of airfare, most of these can be booked a year in advance with a small deposit and then you can watch the airfare prices and get an idea of what the air prices are and then when you see them drop, you will be ready to get the airline ticket locked in. Although we don't have a crystal ball to make predictions, once you have your tour, cruise, theme park or resort vacation booked with Personalized Travel and Tours, we can help advise you on what current airfare prices are or what kind of prices we have been seeing for specific destinations.
Thanks to Jayne Clark with USA Today and CheapAir.com for a little insight into this much asked question about airfare prices.
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