How early should I book a flight?

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

Author and references

The premise is a must: there are no foolproof tricks and fate plays a determining role. It is also useless to repeat the usual advice: choose alternative destinations, be flexible with dates and times, avoid the high season and holidays and other common sense actions already said and repeated everywhere on the web. However, we can suggest you to be smart and careful, this yes.

Also because, according to research, 73% of those who book a flight are wrong: he thinks he is making a deal but in fact does not buy at the most convenient conditions. So let's see together how early to book a flight and why.


  1. Better to book well in advance or last minute?
  2. The golden hour
  3. Stats
  4. Beware of cookies!
  5. A mathematical formula to save!
  6. User questions and comments

Better to book well in advance or last minute?

Great question! First of all, the trend has reversed from the past. For this reason, now it is no longer necessary to arrive at the last minute to find "flights on sale". The current rule, in fact, is the opposite: the sooner you book, the less you will pay. Often those who travel and run into an unexpected event are willing to pay much more in order to grab the last available seat. According to the report from the Airlines Reporting Corporation flight prices go down, on average, about six weeks earlier departure.
Obviously not all types of flights are the same, so the tip is to book:

  • 5/6 weeks before as regards the low cost airlines
  • 20 weeks earlier, therefore about 5 months, for i scheduled flights
  • about 6 months earlier for flights intercontinental and long-range.

The golden hour

We have said one of the two watchwords to be cunning. Use it even if it will cost you a few hours of sleep: leaving very late or very early is cheaper. But that is not all! The smaller the airport, the cheaper it costs, especially in cities with more than one airport such as London.


According to some studies, there are more opportune times than others to decide to book a flight. Apparently January it would seem to be the ideal month. After Christmas and New Year, tour operators and airlines offer cheaper offers. The best day for book and the Tuesday, while the Wednesday is where the operators launch the Offers. The pomeriggiothen, it is the most favorable time to buy a flight.
Better avoid the morning, largely dedicated to business users: operators take advantage of this to offer a service with a high rate of efficiency but at much higher prices. Finally, do not book flights during the weekend because travelers have more time and are more relaxed. This is why they devote more attention and care to the choice of the flight to buy, increasing the number of requests and consequently the prices.

Beware of cookies!

Beware of cookies, digital cookies! By entering your preferences on prices, timetables and destinations, airlines and sites where you log in with your username and password remember your choices. why do they do it? To make you proposals, but not always convenient. Sometimes they are not at all! It is no mystery that registered users, who purchase by "logging in" with username and password (tickets or flight + hotel or flight + car packages) sometimes have different treatments, and not necessarily more favorable, than those who are recognized only when it is inevitable, ie at the time of entering the payment details. So what? What can be done to remedy the problem? Clear the history and all browsing data before booking the next flight. You will come knocking on the virtual gates of carriers like candid souls. Or, even better, use a friend's or colleague's pc, but with caution: check first that it hasn't searched for the same destination as you.

A mathematical formula to save!

Crossing data, algorithms and statistics is not a pastime, but a real job. Three Italians, led by Claudio Piga, Professor of Economics at Keele University in Staffordshire (one of the most prestigious research centers in the UK), presented a study to the Royal Economic Society of Manchester. Marcella Nicolini, from the University of Pavia, Marco Alderighi, from the University of Valle d'Aosta, and Professor Piga came to a conclusion: the best time to buy a flight Ryanair or Easyjet at the lowest price is exactly 10 days before. But how did they get there? Using software that scanned the contents of low-cost airlines' pages and recorded the price trend of tickets over a specific period of time, the scholars noticed that about 70 days before take-off, prices begin to decrease very slowly, up to touch the lowest point about 10 days before departure. On the other hand, during the last week before the flight the prices increase very quickly. A U-shaped latch. But that's not all! It also turns out more convenient to buy only one ticket at a time rather than in bulk, as Ryanair increases the price as the number of tickets available decreases. What to say? Good to know!

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