Flights are cheapest 2 to 5 months before departure: 2016 advice update

It’s a common question. Someone is planning a trip for several months out and they are wondering if they should buy the cheapest ticket available now, or wait and hope the fare drops at least a bit. If the flight is around a holiday time (Christmas, Thanksgiving etc) then the answer is to buy it as early as possible, since fares around holidays generally just keep going higher and higher.

However, if the trip is planned for some random non-holiday time, research done by the folks at Farecast shows that fares tend to be at their lowest between 2 and 8 weeks from departure. More recent research by 2 Associated Press reporters concluded that fares actually bottom out between 4 and 6 weeks before departure.

Note: This article was first published in 2012, and has been updated and revised each year as new information has come out. Basically, the lowest fares are found earlier in 2016 than they were in previous years.

2016 UPDATE: Buy 2 months in advance for flights within North America

This timeframe has gotten longer over the few years that I’ve been tracking this, and according to the most recent 2016 meta-study, the sweet spot is now 2 months out (57 days, to be exact) for flights within North America.

North America to Europe: Book 5 to 6 months in advance if possible

LondonThamesThe 2016 data shows that 176 days out is the cheapest, saving you 11% in total. But all of my own research shows that fares tend to stay within that same range for trans-Atlantic flights until about 2 months out. In other words, a fare from Chicago to London might be US$1,100 if you book 6 months out, and still around US$1,150 about 2 months out.

If you are absolutely sure of your travel dates then buying early is your best bet, but you probably won’t pay too much more if you wait a few more months.

North America to the Caribbean: Book 11 weeks out, but…

SanJuanBeachThe 2016 data shows that 11 weeks is the cheapest time to fly between North America and the Caribbean, but only by 5%. Many other tests have shown that flights are actually cheapest only 1 or 2 weeks out, so the point is that Caribbean airfares don’t go up and down as much as some of the others.

Still, if you want to fly to the Caribbean for Christmas or New Year’s week or one of the Easter weeks, book as early as possible because those get booked up early and the fares will just keep going up.

North America to Asia/Pacific: Book 5 months out

SiemReapMonkWalkingThe study shows that you can save 13% by buying 160 days in advance, which is one of the higher differences. The trend of wanting to buy early seems to have been true for many years because North America to Asia is a BIG trip and people tend to plan those trips well in advance.

Personally, I’ve seen some great deals even at the last minute, so it’s never too late to check for deals to Asia. But if you are sure you want to go, buying up to 6 months in advance seems like the cheapest and wisest thing to do.

North America to Middle East & Africa: Book 4 to 5 months out

While the cheapest date in the study is 144 days in advance, the message is basically the same as for Asia just above because very few people do these trips on short notice. If you see a good airfare 4 or 5 months out, it’s time to buy because the fare is more likely to go up than down from there.

North America to South America: Book 3 months out

The cheapest day was 90 days out in the study, so you can be more flexible when flying between the Americas. This is likely due to the fact that many South Americans have family in the US, so they go back and forth frequently. Again, if it’s less than 90 days out and you see a good fare, it’s time to buy.

Flights within Europe: Buy 4 to 5 months out

The sweet spot in the study was 140 days out, but in reality the cheapest fares within Europe are almost all on the low-cost carriers such as Easyjet and RyanAir. If you are flying on any of those airlines, the fares ALWAYS start out cheap and get more expensive as more seats are sold. So the cheapest time to buy on a low-cost airline is NOW (or as soon as tickets go on sale, which is usually 11 months out).

Flying on a low-cost carrier (even to Europe): Buy now

AmsterdamCentraalAs mentioned just above, if you are flying on one of the low-cost airlines, the seats go on sale about 11 months out at the lowest price, and they keep getting more expensive as each next group of seats are sold.

This is even true on Norwegian Airlines between the US and Europe. They offer the lowest fares in general on scores of popular routes, so if you are sure of your dates you should buy the tickets as soon as possible to lock in the lowest fare. They won’t be getting any cheaper.

The most expensive times to book are within 11 days, or 7 months in advance

Departing Flights BoardThe same study found, to no surprise, that fares were highest starting 11 days before the flight, and stayed high until the departure date. What might be surprising is that they found that the second most expensive time was 208 to 210 days out, which is about 7 months. Evidently, airlines have discovered that some people are really anxious to lock in a specific flight that early, and they don’t mind paying more for the privilege, though they probably don’t even realize they are paying a higher fare than those who book 5 months later.

2015 Update with more specifics about regions and timing

In early 2015, the fine folks at Kayak have published their data from last year, and most of it confirms what earlier studies had found. But it also offers more specifics on different regions. It’s important to consider that mainly does business in the United States, and it appears that their data reflects airfares starting out in the US. Still, the overall trends are likely very similar for flights starting from Europe or most of the rest of the world.

Kayak’s 2015 data:

  • Domestic: Book between 4-6 weeks out
  • Europe: 6 months weeks out (discussed further below)
  • Asia: 5 weeks out
  • South America: 3 to 6 weeks out
  • Central America: 4 to 5 weeks out
  • Africa: 2 months out
  • Caribbean: 2 to 4 weeks out, but unlike all other regions, you can still get a deal one week out (i.e. it’s a great last-minute destination)

Cheapest time to book flights for Christmas and New Year’s trips

According to a 2015 study by Skyscanner, the absolute cheapest time to book flights for the popular dates just before Christmas and New Years is August 10 to 16, at least based on their 2014 data. The study also shows that fares only inch up a bit in later August and into September, but that by early November the fares will be closer to their peak.

Previously we’d heard that it’s best to buy holiday flights as early as possible, which is usually 11 months out for most airlines. I think that’s still mostly true, partly because it will allow you to pick the best possible departure times in both directions. But if you aren’t quite so picky as to which time of day you leave and return, waiting until mid August seems like a decent idea and you’ll still get a relatively good fare.

My own 2015 US or Canada to Europe recommendations: If you are SURE you want the ticket and you see a good fare 5 or 6 months out, then buying it will probably save you at least a little money. But chances are that the fare won’t start going up more than a little bit until about two months out, so there isn’t much to lose by waiting.

Book earliest for popular flight times: If you want to cross the Atlantic in July or August or if you want to travel on convenient weekend flights, buying 3 to 6 months out is probably wise because the fare might start rising soon. But if you are flying in another month and especially if you can fly midweek, then waiting longer is probably okay.

Cheapest fares for flights from the US to Asia or other long distances

SingaporeSandsPoolAs of 2014, the data said that flights from the US and Canada to Asia were cheapest 11 months out or 5 to 6 months out, but the 2015 data (above) says 5 weeks is the cheapest time. Again, combining all of the studies and my own tests into my best recommendations, it seems clear that these fares don’t change dramatically from 11 months out until one month out. In other words, a Chicago to Bangkok flight that is US$1,200 almost a year in advance, will probably be available from US$1,100 to US$1,300 for most of that year.

This appears to be true of pretty much all long-distance flights including those to Australia, South Africa, and the Middle East. Long story short, it’s very hard to predict the exact date that a fare is likely to be cheapest for a long flight, so it’s probably best to book as soon as you are sure about the trip, assuming that the fare seems reasonable.

Important exception: Book flights on low-cost airlines as early as possible, always

If you are thinking about booking a flight on a low-cost airline, such as Southwest or Spirit in the US, or EasyJet or Ryanair in Europe, or Air Asia in Asia, the cheapest fare will always be as early as you are ready to commit. Unlike the more traditional airlines, the low-cost carrier revenue model is based on starting with all seats as cheap as they’ll ever be when the flight is officially in the system. Then as seats are sold on that flight, the fare goes up as the plane is selling out. So maybe the first 20% of the seats are sold at the lowest price, and when those are gone, the next 20% are sold at a higher price, and so forth until all seats are sold or the plane takes off.

However, it’s important to consider the fact that “low-cost airlines” aren’t necessarily cheaper than their more traditional counterparts. Specifically, Southwest Airlines will often be more expensive than American or United, at least once the first group of cheap seats is gone. Also, since traditional airlines do in fact lower fares during the sweet spot of a few weeks to a few months before departure, you might find that waiting for those lower fares might be the best deal of all.

Airfares are still often cheapest on Tuesday, in spite of a recent report saying otherwise

CoachCabinIn late 2014 there was another airfare report that seemed to bust the “myth” that fares were often lowest on Tuesdays. The problem is, the report is very misleading and fares are still probably lowest on Tuesdays (or Mondays or Wednesdays). The report only looked at the prices paid on each day of the week, rather than the fares offered each day of the week.

It’s well known that many leisure travelers book on Saturdays, which is one reason why many fare sales are expired by then. But it’s also true that a huge majority of full-fare business travel is booked Mondays through Fridays. For this reason, it can appear that fares are higher during the week and lower on weekends even though the opposite is true. In other words, if I buy a US$300 roundtrip from LA to NYC on Saturday and some business traveler’s assistant buys the seat next to me for US$800 (fully refundable) on Tuesday, the study makes it look like fares offered are actually higher on Tuesdays.

The advice: Check any and every day of the week, and if it’s the weekend you might want to wait a few more days to see if fares drop.

Why do airfares go up and down and up again as the day approaches?

Looking at the data above, you might think the airlines are playing some sort of game with fliers, but these pricing policies are actually a result of elaborate data and computer models that help them make the most money from each plane that leaves the ground. Here’s why:

People who buy plane tickets early are less price sensitive

In the world of economics they call this being “inelastic” in that in some situations consumers will buy almost exactly as many tickets, even if the price is higher. Airlines (obviously) want to maximize their profit for every seat they sell on the plane, so they take advantage of those who are driven to lock in early.

Consumers who buy early might:

  • Already have set vacation days they want to use all of
  • Be attending an event, such as a wedding, where there’s no flexibility
  • Be someone who feels great stress until the ticket is locked in

In the above situations, whether a round-trip between Los Angeles and London is US$800 or US$1100, the person buying at least 3 months out is likely to buy either way. There is little incentive to airlines to sell a ticket for $800 if they’d sell almost as many at $1100.

People who buy plane tickets late are also less price sensitive

Similarly, consumers who are interested in flying 10 or fewer days from any given moment are also inelastic. They are likely to pay a premium for the convenience of going soon, so there’s little incentive for airlines to discount these tickets either.

Consumers who buy at the last minute might:

  • Have just gotten approval for fixed time off soon
  • Have an event on a fixed date (a football game, etc)
  • Be someone who hates to commit to things early, and is willing to pay extra for the added flexibility

Now, keep in mind, that anyone who is hoping to fly in 10 days or fewer from now will see higher prices, and they’ll have the option of going 2 or 3 weeks later to save quite a bit of money. This price discrimination allows airlines to sell more expensive seats to those who can’t wait, and cheaper tickets to those who can.

What happened to cheap “last-minute” fares?

Las Vegas AboveIn reality, it’s always been difficult to find last-minute airfare bargains, at least to specific places you already want to visit. There are still examples of those weekly fare sales where an airline publishes a list of last minute bargain flights, but anyone who’s paid attention to them can see the problem.

They tend to offer cheap flights between obscure city pairs on the least popular travel dates. So if you are ready to fly between, say, Charlotte and Bermuda this coming Saturday and return the following Tuesday, those last-minute deals could be for you. But for most of us, they never appear for places we really want to go and at times we want to travel.

Why no last-minute deals, you might ask? Why are airlines willing to fly with empty seats instead of filling them for low prices?

The reason airlines don’t lower prices for unsold seats at the last minute is that the last thing they want to do is condition travelers to wait until the last minute, hoping for a bargain, and then sometimes not flying at all when a bargain doesn’t appear.

Think about it. If you wanted to go from Los Angeles to London at some point soon, and a round-trip next month is $900, but if you go in 2 days it’s only $650, you are likely to buy the cheap ticket two days from now, or skip it and hope that the same deal is available next month when you are ready to go.

Airlines make more money on each plane-load of people if they condition passengers into buying earlier at higher prices, or very early at even higher prices.

When to wait for fare sales

St Maartin Beach AirportThis all ties in with the economic principles above. You’ll notice fare sales by various airlines, and they usually appear in the middle of a season (summer, for example) trying to fill up seats for the rest of that season. In some cases they’ll announce an autumn fare sale in August, but it always tends to be for times of the year when the fewest people travel, namely, January through March plus October and November.

If you are waiting for a fare sale and wondering when it might appear, it’s important to consider the airlines’ motivation in announcing them. Let’s say they announced an October fare sale in June, with round-trip fares way lower than those offered in summer. That would actually cannibalize their business for July through September. If someone is considering paying a high fare to fly in August, the airlines are not motivated to show them a much lower fare if they waited. That would lead to empty seats in late summer, which would be very costly for them.

In almost all cases you are best off waiting until 6 weeks or so before your departure date, but it’s also important to track the fares before that, and keep an eye on fare sales.

This same research by the AP also said that fare sales usually appear on Tuesdays and are over by the end of Thursday, so check fares early in the week and if a price drops then jump on it. They also found the highest fares showed up for those searching on Saturdays and Sundays, so you might be best off just skipping the weekends for fare research anyway.

Check multiple websites at once to find the cheapest fares

546 Responses to “Flights are cheapest 2 to 5 months before departure: 2016 advice update”

krishmohan says:

my question is if we book tickets 40 days before and cancel it later then how much percentage of amount will be refunded back


    Krismohan, the cheapest plane tickets are almost always the non-refundable ones, so unfortunately you don’t get anything back if you change your mind or your plans. -Roger

    Jana says:

    In answer to Krishmohan’s question, as Roger says, I never find refundable flights at a good price. My solution is to use Southwest whenever possible, especially return flights because I’m constantly changing my mind about my return dates. Southwest doesn’t give free refunds, but they do allow you to change flights with no change fee, and I think you have a year to use it. Since both my husband and parents live in different states from me, I fly enough that I know I will for sure eventually use the ticket. Southwest isn’t the most luxurious airline, but they also offer two free checked bags, and I much prefer them over some other airlines I’ve tried that are not considered “budget.” The drawbacks, I never find red eye flights, which I sometimes prefer, and I rarely find direct flights where I am going. As a side note, Jetblue is my favorite for direct flights, red eye flights, customer service, goodies, and comfort, but alas, they don’t allow free changes. I hope this helps someone.

gaby says:

About how much is a ticket from chicago to colombia..not columbia COLOMBIA…doesn’t matter how long I gatta wait


Great tips, but regarding the 6-4 weeks I think that this applies more for local flights (within the country, or between countries in europe).

My impression is that for intercontinental flights this does not work so well.

Any idea of which sort of flights they evaluated?



    Thomas, the main research was done by a team of AP reporters, but it’s also been backed up by several other flight experts at various sites. The same market forces are at work whether domestic or international, and I know for sure that if you shop too early for international flights you’ll see higher prices than if you wait until closer to the date. -Roger

aNNA says:

So, what you are saying, If i want to travel by June, which happens to be the peak season, then I would buy the tickets closer to the date that I will travel or do I buy the tickets as early as possible?


    aNNA, yes, that’s correct. Except for holidays like Christmas, you’ll usually see the lowest prices 4 to 6 weeks before the flight. The thing is, right now the airlines want to encourage people to fly in February and March, so they don’t slash prices on June flights yet because that would discourage people from flying sooner. -Roger

Leta says:

What are best weeks to fly from miami to dublin? Should I search for 1 adult ticket or for 2 adults and 3 kids(that’s what will be flying)

arlene doran says:

Hi can I know how much the price of ticket on feb 29 philippine to india ?

Kaiser Sousa says:

Simplistic answer, far too complex to answer. First of all each departing destination varies. We are blessed with lots of competition and options in New York or London but not si in Manchester or Denver for example. Additionally if you live in the UK and are flying from London the advise to book early, as it will not only apply for Christmas but also the New Year, Easter week, Bank Holiday weeks and/or weekends, all the school summer holiday period especially the weekend before the start of the new school term plus any School term breaks during the year. Fair advice any other time outside these busier periods, but try get a ticket on the busy, non competitive route on British Airways from London to South America(San paulo/Buenos Aires) flight and it all goes pear-shaped, your advice is useless. Or for that matter try getting a flight to South Africa all of DEC or even JAN , where a large SA community living in the UK/London outskirts and is wishing to holiday or returning to visit families and friend – the advice is BOOK EARLY!

Manilyn says:

hi, just wanna ask if is possible for my friend to get plane ticket for me she’s in Thailand and I’m here in the Philippines. Can she get a round trip ticket for me there? How will it be? any comments or advised?

Kevin pequeneza says:

When should I buy a cheap flight to Portugal if
I go this mid December 2013



    For international flights, the optimal time is about 11 weeks before your flight, so you are already a bit past that. Also, for flights in the holiday periods, you should buy as early as possible. Mid December isn’t quite yet the holiday, but it’s close, so don’t wait. -Roger

Myra says:

May I know when should I buy cheap ticket and how many weeks before I need to book round trip from moscow russia to vienna austria so that I can avail cheap ticket? Do I need a visa or just passport only.
Thank you and God bless. . .



    For international flights, the cheapest time tends to be about 11 weeks prior to departure. The best thing to do is to check the prices now and check them at least once a week to see if they are going up or down. But if you see a price you can afford within 3 months or so of when you want to leave, just buy it.

    For visa and immigration issues, you should check the website of your home government and/or the government of the country you are flying to. Both parts matter, and things tend to change more frequently than you might expect. -Roger

June says:

Hi im june
I read it well and it is really helpful. thanks!
But still i cant make sure sth
If i want to buy a one way ticket from south america to L.A.
The date of flight will be around 2/13-15 somthing
Then it is the internatiolnal flight, right?
Then should i buy it 11week before or 4-6weeks before?
I thought now is the most high season of south america
so i was waiting for going down the price



    Yes, it’s an international flight so you’d want to buy the ticket up to 3 months in advance. After that, the airfare is more likely to rise than to fall. -Roger

    Maria says:

    Hi Roger,

    I have plan to book flight ticket from Singapore to Amsterdam on 15 May 2015-31 May 2015. I always checked the ticket price these 2 months. Now the price increased very high, $1300-1600, the cheapest is Malaysia Airline, went down from $1150 to $997. Should I buy now or wait 3 months before departure? Do you think the price will go down again? Because I need to apply visa which require flight ticket. Please advise. Thanks.



      I just checked your dates on and got US$769 return on Malaysia Airlines, with good connections. If you are quoting in S$ then maybe it’s the same price. Either way, I think that looks like quite a good fare and I’d be surprised if it went much lower than that. I mean, it might go down by US$100 if you are very lucky, but it’s more likely to go up. And with your visa situation, I don’t think it’s worth waiting and hoping for a small reduction.

      Even without a visa on the line, I think that fare looks pretty good, especially for Friday and Saturday flights. Best of luck. -Roger

Angeline says:

Hi, just want to ask is summer (Jun’14/ Jul’14) considered holiday period? If so, am I right to say that the latest I need to buy an international air ticket is Mar’14? Thanks 🙂



    The “holiday periods” that the study refers to are things like Christmas or Easter. Summer is just a normal busy period, so yes, you’ll want to get serious about a purchase around March or so. -Roger

early says:

just want to ask if how much is the ticket now from here saudi Arabi
to manila philippines connect to general santos airport
if I book this week…thanks

Dawn says:

I am going to London in August, but while there I want to fly to Ireland. When would the best time to buy tickets for this trip be? Right now they are about 217 sterling pounds for two people.



    If you are going to fly on a low-cost airline like Ryanair or EasyJet, then book that one as soon as possible for the lowest fare. I just checked some random dates in August on Ryanair (which is usually cheaper, although EasyJet is better), and I’m seeing a total of £98 for two people, round-trip from London Gatwick to Dublin. There are some additional charges for checked baggage and such, but it should be way less than £200.

    You should be able to get similar fares between a variety of city pairs in England and Ireland if you book soon. In other words, check Ryanair and EasyJet now for flights that work, paying close attention to the add-on fees on both, and book soon. The price will keep going up as more seats on each flight are sold. If EasyJet is only a little more expensive, I recommend paying it to avoid the headache that goes along with flying Ryanair. -Roger

Ruth says:

As I understand it, I should wait until late April/early May to book flights from east coast US to Puerto Rico scheduled for mid June? If I wait until late April/early May, would I still save money booking flights leaving midweek rather than Saturday-Saturday? Thanks for all your excellent insights.



    Yes, it’s most likely that the lowest fares will appear starting in late April or early May, but you should check them every week or so until then. If the price drops for your preferred dates, it’s probably a good idea to buy. -Roger

margaret says:

We are going to switzerland in the middle of june. i have not seen any price changes lately from the dfw area. when should i really look for the best price and is there another city in the u.s. that is the cheapest to fly from to zurich…we could always use miles to get to that city.

thanks so much



    For international flights like this, evidence suggests that the lowest price will be around 11 weeks from the departure date. That means that you will likely see prices drop at least a little in early or mid March. When that happens, be prepared to buy.

    To reach Zurich from the US, the cheapest cities are New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Boston and Chicago are also fairly cheap. Closer to Dallas, New Orleans is the cheapest in your area. Good luck. -Roger

Edgar says:

When would you say will the lowest airfare become available for travel on Holiday Weekends such as President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day?



    Memorial Day and Labor Day should be treated as holidays, at least if you are planning on leaving on Thursday or Friday and returning on Sunday or Monday. In other words, buy as early as possible because it’s unlikely that they will discount those flights a month or two out. With President’s Day, I’d think it’s the same, but maybe not as much competition. Probably flights from cold places into warm places for the weekend should be bought as early as possible, but if you are flying from, say, Atlanta to New York City, I think you might get the best deal in early January. -Roger

Jars says:

What is the best time to buy tickets if I plan fly to manila (from winnipeg, ca) in mid December this year? …cuz right now the tickets are too pricy as I checked online. Thanks.



    The most recent study says that international flights that aren’t in holiday periods are cheapest 11 weeks out, so you will probably find the best fare in mid to late September. Until then, the airlines are too busy trying to sell out the flights that take off in a few weeks or a few months, so they don’t discount fares for flights 11 months away. -Roger

Yvonne McKenzie says:

I am seeing that the best time to purchase international (Calgary Canada to Mendoza Argentina) is 11 weeks. Although in part of your post the data suggests 6 months to South America. We are travelling the last week of Oct and returning mid Nov, what do you suggest? We have seen a slight rise since last month, but we are hoping for a decent drop yet!
Thank you muchly



    That’s an interesting question. My guess is that the 11 weeks number for international tickets includes mostly flights to Europe plus many to the Caribbean, so I’d think that the 6 months figure specifically for South America is probably more accurate. In my own experience, I very rarely see airfares going up and staying high for the entire period before the flight, so I think there’s a very good chance they will come back down again in the coming month or two. It’s always a bit of a gamble though.

    I hope you are also checking fares on Mondays or Tuesdays to see if they are lower. It seems that flights to almost everywhere tend to be lowest on those days, and go up again over weekends. Good luck. -Roger

Steph says:

I’m deciding to go to Barbados in April until June. When should I book my flight so it’s at the lowest price?
Thank you



    According to the most recent data by, you’ll find the lowest prices about 2 to 3 weeks out, although that’s probably not true of Easter Week, which will probably just go up in price. So if you are thinking of going early in April, look for price drops in the next few weeks, and buy as soon as you see one. They also say that fares can also be cheap just one week out, so hopefully you’ll have chances for lower fares than right now. -Roger

Karen says:

HI there,
We are looking at tickets (multi-city Atl-Rapid City first leg, and Jackson Hole-ATL second part) leaving first week of June returning 2 weeks later. Would you suggest waiting until late March early April to purchase those? Thanks Michelle



    This is a tough one because those aren’t very popular routes so your choices might be limited. According to the studies and data, it’s most likely that fares will go down in the next few weeks. If fares right now look like they are higher than you expect, waiting is probably a good idea, and it’s unlikely that fares will just keep going up this early. Best of luck. -Roger

Melissa says:

Hi Roger,

Would love your advice. We need to be in Europe for a wedding in Split, Croatia on the 11th July 2014. Have not booked tickets yet!! Flying from Perth, Australia. We have from the 5th till the 19th July in Europe, 5 days in Split for wedding festivities. Would also like to check out another country close to Croatia though. When would be the best time to book, 11 weeks out? Also which city could be cheap to fly into? Thanks!!!



    Croatia is indeed a bit of a dead zone for cheap long-haul flights, although it’s worth checking flights into Zagreb, which is a pleasant place to spend a day or two. I think your other good choice in that direction would be Budapest, which is a wonderful (and quite affordable) city, and also has fairly cheap incoming flights. From Zagreb or Budapest you can take a train to Split, although those trains are a bit slow so it’s nice that they are cheap.

    Probably your best bet would be to fly into Milan or Rome and spend those extra days in Italy. If flights are cheaper into Milan you still might skip the city itself, and you can just hop on a train to Venice or Florence or even Rome. However you would tour Italy (by train), you can then pop over to Ancona (north of Rome and east of Florence) for a ferry ride directly to Split. If you’ve yet to spend much time in Italy, I think it would be the most enjoyable choice.

    And yes, my best guess is that the fare will be the lowest around 2 to 3 months out, although it’s hard to predict for sure. What I’d recommend is to check those various airports for the best flight deal right now, and then check the best options at least once per week (on Tuesday, if possible) until you’ve found that one of them has dropped in price. When that happens, jump on it, as that is probably the best you can do. If you get to 9 or 10 weeks out and no fares have dropped, it’s probably wise to buy before they creep up more. Bon voyage. -Roger

Teddy says:

Hi Roger,
I am planning to travel from Los Angeles,USA to Chennai,India on June 3rd week and return by July 3rd week.

When is the right time to book ticket? If i travel from different city in USA, will it save any cost?




    The study shows that for flights from the US to Asia, that 3 or 4 months out is the cheapest time to buy (unless you buy 9 or 10 months out). So I’d get ready to lock something in soon, keeping in mind that fares are usually lowest from Monday night through Wednesday and most expensive over the weekends.

    I recently ran some tests on international airports from the US and I found no cases where it would be cheaper to buy a separate round-trip to another city and then the international trip from there. In the case of India I think it’s possible that NYC to Chennai might have some cheap flights so that’s worth looking at, especially since LAX to JFK flights tend to be relatively cheap. Good luck. -Roger

sarah says:

I am needing to fly out of Toronto 6 July 2014 into LA (One Way). About a month ago I saw them for $330 USD and now they are up around $390 USD. I am kicking myself I didn’t buy then, but needed to confirm dates with friend.
I know 4 July is holiday in US and I’m flying out of Toronto on a Sunday around that holiday week…do you think I just need to cut my losses and book…or should I take the chance and wait a bit longer. So scary when I saw the price increase 🙁



    Unfortunately, I think chances are highest that the fare will go up rather than down from here. That July 4 holiday is huge here in the US (as you certainly know), so it’s a perfect example of a weekend that millions of people have circled on their calendar. My best guess is that it won’t shoot up in price again soon and keep going up, but still, I think if the fare is still high after this coming Tuesday (when flights tend to be cheapest), then it will probably stay there. -Roger


Hi. We are scheduled to go to St. Maarten from NC on Nov. 29 for a week. When do you suggest we aim to purchase our flights. I wasn’t sure if this would be considered “holiday”.



    Well, since Thanksgiving in the US is on November 27 this year, it means that your outbound flight will be within the holiday period, on Saturday. So I’d think that anything before that would be in high demand, but going from the US to the Caribbean on Saturday is probably not a common thing, and flying home a week later is even less common.

    My best guess is that you’ll be able to wait for the best fares on this, possibly as late as early November. But check them once in awhile and if you see the fare going down at all, then jump on it. This is a potentially tricky one, so good luck. -Roger

Erika says:

Hi Roger,

I’m flying annually from VN-US-VN. I stay in the US for one month each summer.

My first-ever round-trip ticket was US-VN in summer 2011, with VN-US in July 2012. Then I booked US-VN for August 2012, with VN-US for July 2013. Now I’m flying the VN-US leg in July 2014. …I haven’t bought a US-VN-US ticket yet for 2014/2015.

It would more convenient for me to book, annually for summers, VN-US-VN. (It means I have to buy a one-way ticket US-VN for summer 2014).

Is it cheaper to book VN-US-VN, versus US-VN-US?

Thank you,



    I’m assuming that VN is referring to Vietnam? I don’t think there is an easy answer for this. I’ve heard that you can sometimes get lower fares from within a country like Vietnam if you go through a local travel agent that specializes in flights to the US, but I think online either direction could be cheaper depending on the date you search.

    Also, the data does indicate that fares between the US and Asia tend to be at their lowest nearly a year out, so your idea of booking essentially an 11-month stay in the US could work. So unfortunately I can’t answer your question with any certainty. These airfares change every day, so I’d recommend you search the different options and if you see one that is even a bit cheaper than the others, jump on it. Good luck. -Roger

Alice Serras says:


We are planning to go to New Zealand from London for 3 weeks at the end of October. The flights I have been watching have already gone down from £860 to £700. Do you think this is due to recent events or a natural decrease? When would you recommend we buy?




    Most of the studies published are for airfares leaving from the US, but I’d think that the same trends would be in effect for flights from the UK. So based on that, my hunch is that you might find even lower fares anywhere up to August. On the other hand, since you’ve already seen fares dropping lately, it seems unlikely that they’ll go down by too much more at any time. The trend seems to be that airlines start with fares that aren’t too much higher than their discount fares, drop them a few months out if there are still many available seats, and then start moving them up again once the plane is more full. In other words, there’s a chance that the fare would drop to maybe £650 in a couple months, but at some point it will pop back up to £860 and when it does it will be too late.

    Long story short, I think if you wait a month or two or three, you might save a bit, but you might get unlucky and the flight fills up at the current discount, and the fare starts going up. So I’d really think about buying soon, now that you are already seeing a discount. Good luck. -Roger

Sherry says:


We’ve already committed to a villa rental in Akumal, MX in mid-July for our family of 7. My husband wants to buy the airline tickets now. I say monitor the onlinef prices ( they are running over $500 a ticket) and buy closer to the depature date. I haven’t seen anything about mid-summer fare rates to Mexico in 2014. What would you suggest as an approach to finding reasonable fares. ( Our daughter is flying from LAX; the rest of the family from DFW.). Thanks!



    I’ll assume that you will be flying into Cancun, and that should be part of the Caribbean data in the studies on airfare trends. My best guess is that the fares will drop between now and June, especially since $500 seems awfully high for such a short flight (from DFW). Also, July is part of the low season in the Cancun area, and that also works in your favor.

    The slightly tricky part for you is that you’ve already locked in dates for the villa, so you don’t have the flexibility to go a day earlier or a day later if those fares are lower. Still, it would be surprising if fares don’t come down over the next few months. As you can see in the Kayak data in the article above, Caribbean fares are often the cheapest just a week or two out. I wouldn’t want to wait that long if I already paid a deposit on a villa, but I’d think that by early June you’d see a price drop that is enticing enough to pull the trigger. Good luck. -Roger

Naan says:

I am going from msp to san fran from dec 14-21. Flights right now for non stop are $500+. I am assuming the price will go down, but I am also concerned that we are traveling around Christmas. thoughts?



    This is an interesting one, which is probably why you are asking. The flight on Dec 14 would come down in price on its own, but the Dec 21 part is a busy day in the Christmas period so that one might go up. I just checked now and it looks like you can buy one-way tickets in each direction for about the same price as the round-trip. So you might think about checking the flights you are considering, and checking the price of each way alone. If they add up to about the same as the round-trip, you might buy the Dec 21 one soon to lock it in, and the first half could still go down in price. If those are your exact dates, this isn’t easy to answer, so that’s the best I can do with an opinion. Good luck. -Roger

Anthony says:

Need to fly YYZ to MIA on Dec 20 and back on Dec 27. Flights on those dates just rose by $100 to $900 per person. Will they come back down?



    I’m seeing many flights on those dates that are US$500 or less per person. The flights into Palm Beach and Ft Lauderdale are a bit cheaper than those into Miami, and those airports are all close to each other. So I’m not sure what you are looking at, but the flights that I’m seeing, the cheapest of which are on Delta and WestJet, are starting at US$405, and they will keep going up in price from there for those prime holiday dates. -Roger

AMC says:

We are flying to Toronto from London on 26th July, returning on 16th august. I can see that fares are going up over the last few weeks and currently around £850 – £900 per person. Shall I buy the tickets now or wait for a price drop? Thanks in advance.



    That’s toward the end of the summer travel season, and it’s typical that airlines won’t offer the best fares until 2 to 3 months out. In other words, chances are pretty good that the fare will drop again in a month or two, and it seems pretty unlikely that it’ll just keep going up without dropping a bit. So I’d keep checking every week or so (Tuesdays are good for low fares) and when you see the fare drop, buy it. That’s my best guess. -Roger

Brooklyn says:

My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland/UK/Netherlands for 14 days and are looking for the best price out of Dallas. The best price I can find at the moment is around $1100 in/out of Dublin. Our dates are very flexible since I’m a teacher and can go at any time from early June-early August. I saw prices for $800 a few days ago but couldn’t snatch them before they were all taken. It seems that we are still 13+ weeks out, but aren’t in a city that is prime for this trip according to the article. Houston’s prices aren’t that much better. Should we wait a bit longer and keep looking or is $1100 a good price for this trip and $800 a one time fluke?



    I think you are in a good position on this, and my best guess is that you can do better by waiting than locking something in now. The fares on June flights might still come back down at least a bit in the next week or two, and it’s almost certain that fares for flights in early August will come down in the next month or even two. You might not see $800 again, but it’s very unlikely that they’ll just keep going up from here without another dip.

    Here’s the thing: even before these studies came out to confirm the cheapest times to book, it was well known that airlines never post sale fares very far in advance. In other words, right now they are busy trying to fill up their spring flights, and their early-summer flights. If they put mid to late-summer flights on sale, it would discourage some people from going sooner. They will still fill up most of those late-summer flights at higher prices, so they don’t offer sale fares until they know that they still have many empty seats on them.

    So to sum up, you’ll probably see lower fares, especially if you wait a bit longer and are willing to go in late July or August. Most Americans prefer to do a trip in June or July, so August is usually less busy. Also, you might check flights into Shannon Airport while you are at it. Right now they are about the same prices, but there’s always a chance of a sale into that airport, and in some ways it’s easier to start an Ireland holiday there anyway. Good luck. -Roger

Dana says:

Hi Roger, thanks for these tips. My fiance and I are planning on a trip to Paris (from NYC) for our honeymoon mid-September, so not for 5.5 months. It seems too early to buy according to your data, but I’m stressed because I’ve been watching the prices and they recently dropped from $868 to $718 (which sounds good to me)…but we didn’t buy yet and now the cheapest ones are up to about $780 (Iceland Air). Should I hold out for them to go down again? says 58% prices are rising, but i guess that’s just in the next 7 days. Thanks so much for your advice!



    I can understand getting a bit nervous when you see fares going up when you are expecting that they’d go down, but in this case I’m very confident that fares will indeed come down in the next few months. As I mentioned to someone else just above, the airlines are trying to coax people into buying tickets on flights in the next couple of months, so when someone wants to lock in flights for nearly 6 months in advance, they keep fares high (for the reasons I mention in the article itself).

    Fares to and from Europe tend to be highest from June through early August, and then they start coming down again. By mid-September, you are entering the dead season for travel, and fares are typically lower as a response. I like that Kayak tool, but you are right that they only look 7 days into the future, so that’s more to help people know whether to buy today or a few days from now. In your case, it would be expected (though obviously not guaranteed) that the fares would be lowest in June. And for a low-season flight like that, I’d think that the worst case scenario would be that it would stay around the same. Fingers crossed that it works out for you. -Roger

Daniel says:

I am planning on attending a group trip to St. Maarten (SXM) from Los Angeles (LAX) in July … Saturday July12th – Friday July 18th. Usually I have a layover in NY or Miami when flying to the Carribean from LA, which is fine.
Currently prices are ranging from $650 on up. Should I purchase my tickets now, or should I wait for a better price and less of a layover time? At the moment the layovers are about 8 – 11 hours. I would also need to actually arrive on Saturday the 12th, and most flights are getting me there on the 13th. I don’t mind leaving on Friday the 11th, but it would have to be at night.

Thank you,



    I don’t have any data that can tell us about layover lengths, but as far as the airfare itself, the data says you’ll be better off waiting. According to the recent research, fares to the Caribbean are cheapest only 2 to 3 weeks out, and can actually be cheap only 1 week out. July is also part of the low (at least lower) season in the Caribbean, so it seems unlikely that the flights will fill up soon.

    So as always, there are never guarantees with this sort of thing, but the data from the last few years suggests that fares will drop between now and the flight, and they might even bottom out near the end of June. Good luck. -Roger

lilah says:

Hi Roger
I live is south africa and am planning a trip to Greece in june/july. The cheapest ticket i could find was $1650 (with nasty lay overs) and cannot believe this as i went there two years ago on almost exactly the same dates for $700. Do the same rules apply for booking international flights from South Africa? Shall i wait a few weeks or jump on these ones now before they get even more expensive?

And also Travel agents ALWAYS tell you that it is unlikely that prices will drop and that it is best to book ASAP. Are they just lying to make sure they get their commission?



    I’m not familiar enough with the airfare trends starting from South Africa to be of much help, but I would assume that the general trends regarding international flights being cheapest around 11 weeks out probably holds up there as well. Most of the airlines are the same, except of course for ones based in South Africa itself.

    But, I just randomly put in some dates, and the fares I’m seeing are actually below US$700. I tried Joburg to Athens on June 18, returning on July 9, and I’m seeing many flights on Etihad Airways starting at US$643, and a couple of options on Qatar Airways starting at US$785. All of those have pretty reasonable connections in Abu Dhabi or Doha (and my own experience is that Qatar is quite a bit nicer than Etihad, although that could vary by route).

    So unless I’m misunderstanding your situation, you might just be getting unlucky by trying to fly on a pair of dates that are much closer to being sold out. Or you are trying to fly all the way into a small airport in Greece instead of starting off in Athens and then going to islands later by ferry or a low-cost flight? In other words, since I’m seeing much lower fares for different dates, it means that low fares ARE now being offered and if you try different dates from Joburg to Athens you’ll probably find something much cheaper. Let me know if I’ve got the situation wrong and I’ll try again.

    As for offline travel agents, I don’t know how they operate their businesses, but it seems obvious that they have a strong incentive to get people to buy today rather than waiting for a possible lower fare later. Once the person walks out of the office or hangs up the phone, they know that they probably have a very small chance of selling them that airline ticket in the future. So I think you may be onto something there. -Roger

      lilah says:

      Thanks so much for the help! unfortunately i am not so flexible i am looking at flights from johannesberg or cape town to Athens, however i am not very flexible. i need to leave south africa 28/29/30th of june and leave greece to return home around the 18th/19th/20th of july. please could you give me a heads up on the search engines you used to get those fares? 🙂



        So that’s your problem then, that you need to leave and return both on summer (in the north) weekends. I found those fares on, but I see that finds the same ones at the same prices. I just checked again and found you could leave Johannesburg on June 30 and return from Athens on July 18 for US$1,034 on EgyptAir with a pretty good connection time. You could return on the 19th or 20th for just a bit more.

        My best guess is that those weekend flights have already sold all their cheap seats, so the ones left are more expensive and will probably only go up from here. And since those cheaper midweek flights are still available, it seems to be a demand issue rather than airlines jacking up prices for no particular reason. If it were me, I’d probably be ready to buy that ticket if one of those EgyptAir flights work. Good luck. -Roger

John Balog says:

Want to fly to Vancouver,BC from either Milwaukee or Chicago.
When should I check ticket prices?

Thank you


    John Balog,

    I’d start checking prices now so at least you have some sort of baseline to work with. Flights between the US and Canada have fare patterns that are similar to domestic US flights rather than international flights. At the moment it looks like the lowest fares are for flights leaving 4 to 6 weeks from now, with a fare as low as US$270 round-trip from Chicago. But most of them are more like US$340 round-trip, so if you see something that you like in that price range, it’s probably a good idea to buy it. Those super-cheap flights are usually leaving at weird times of the day. -Roger

Janie says:

Okay, my niece is getting married in Isla Mujeres in June. As soon as Kayak was able to show rates, I have the daily rate sent to me. I have not seen it go lower than the upper 600’s – getting nervous, will it go down? I have been watching it every day. United is the only non stop from Newark Liberty, NJ – will it go down? it changes during day from 600’s to 700’s bouncing a lot. will it go in 500’s? or lower? deal with 500’s.

Looking to fly Newark – Cancun, for Isla Mujeres. June 2014.



    This is interesting because I just put in two random dates (June 11 to June 17) from Newark to Cancun and I see fares on US Airways for US$400 and American Airlines for $402. So it could be that you are only able to go on popular weekend dates? Do you have any flexibility, because it looks like much lower fares are being offered now.

    On the other hand, Cancun is part of the Caribbean data, which says that fares are usually lowest from 2 to 3 weeks out, and can even be low just one week out. For something like a wedding, I can understand being nervous about fares that seem high and might go higher. June in Cancun isn’t part of the high season, so I think you’d have a good chance of seeing lower fares in the coming month or two. It sounds like you are going on very busy dates, so the signals are mixed, unfortunately. It seems unlikely that fares would just keep going up though. -Roger

      Janie says:

      Thank you so much for your reply. Looking for my son flight 6/25 – 6/29. We are more flexible. Definitely 6/25 but return is open. We may stay at time share after wedding. The wedding is in Isla Mujeres. But still need to fly into cancun. Looking at united and us airways A few years ago we had a wedding in st Lucia. Everyone booked early. I booked about 3 months before got delta 300 before taxes. I was so happy. So really hoping to get a good deal now. But yes getting nervous. The whole time watching never really went low enough too book. Keeping eye out and hope to catch a good
      price. Will keep my eyes open and ready for something lower. Do you believe the Tuesday deal? Again thank you for responding appreciate the help. The bride and groom booked from Philadelphia non stop on us airways 692 per person ouch. Thank you 😉

        T T says:

        I’m looking into a group flight from DFW to Cancun for Jun 19-26, and the rate ran to the mid 600 per person. That’s the highest rate that I have ever seen for such a short flight. I travel this route quite often and never encounter the rate as high. I have been checking for the last couple months on the weekly basis and it’s not coming down. For worse, it’s actually creeping up slowly. Any suggestion?


          T T,

          I know that feeling well, of tracking the cost of a flight and assuming it will go down, only to see it jump UP instead. When I just ran the trip through Kayak, I see fares on Aeromexico changing in Mexico City for US$444. The cheapest nonstop is on American, at US$518, so maybe fares have already come down a little?

          As far as the studies are concerned, Cancun is part of the Caribbean rather than “international.” And the recent study says this: “Caribbean: 2-3 weeks out, but unlike all other regions, you can still get a deal one week out (i.e. it’s a great last-minute destination).”

          So the data says that you should wait for lower fares. June is obviously not peak season in Cancun, so if it were me, I’d wait. But as I’ve mentioned before, the more inflexible you are when it comes to exact flights or times of departure, the riskier it can be to wait. As long as you leave yourself a bit of wiggle room with the specifics, your risks of waiting are lower. Good luck. -Roger

Brian says:

My wife & I want to go to L.A. From NYC for a family gathering on July 4th which is a Friday this year. We have been looking to fly out on 6/30 or 7/1 & return on 7/9 or 7/10. The prices have gone up at least $60 this month. Should I wait 4-6 weeks out?



    The studies generally agree that fares for popular travel holidays like July 4 in the US tend to just keep going up because so many people have specific plans on specific days. You are leaving early enough and returning late enough that you should be outside of the worst long-weekend travel, but still I’d imagine that many people are trying to take one or both of those weeks off, so you might want to book soon. Check on a Tuesday at least to see the lowest fares of the week, and good luck. -Roger

Mayuresh says:

Hi I wanted to book flight to India from Auckland, when is the right time to book ?for the cheapest fare.




    That’s tough to know because I don’t believe the flights between New Zealand and India were included in the data set. My best guess is that the cheapest point would be around that 11 week mark, just as it is for international flights leaving from the US and Canada. Sorry I can’t be of more help. -Roger

Marichu says:

We are planning to go to Manila in December. What do you think is the cheapest day in December we should fly? should we book now or wait?



    Well, the recent Kayak data says that for flights to Asia, the lowest fares are “9-10 months out. If you miss this window, shoot for 3-4 months out.” Since right now you are a bit less than 8 months out, you might be best off waiting for a few more months, although you should probably keep tracking the fares and be ready to buy when you see a drop.

    As for the cheapest day in December to fly, it would probably be either the first or second Tuesday or Wednesday of the month. Midweek is cheaper than weekends for those flights, and the further you can get away from Christmas, the cheaper it should be. Good luck. -Roger

Pamela Tune says:

Hi Roger….Came across you website hoping you can help me with some info on when to buy our airline tickets. We are going to be taking flights in Australia Sydney-Brisbane Brisbane-Cairns Cairns-Melbourne travel will be late September early October 2014. We need a flight back to USA Newark Airport. Any Advice would be appreciated. Thanks in Advance Pam



    Those popular domestic routes in Australia are all covered by low-cost airlines like Tiger Air and Virgin Australia, and those carriers use pricing systems like Southwest Airlines in that all flights start at the same price and then fares go up as more seats are filled. In other words, the cheapest time to buy is NOW. Fortunately, they are pretty cheap already and you are booking early enough to get very good fares. If you see a route where Qantas has the lowest fares (which is unlikely) then those might dip a bit about a month or so out.

    So if you can, buy very soon for the best fares. For the flight back to the NYC area it’s a different story, and that flight might be cheapest around 3 months out similar to other international flights. Good luck and have a great trip. -Roger

Lisa says:

Charlotte to Las Vegas currently pricing at $525 for 6/29 – 7/13. Is it best to wait until end of April/beginning of May to book?



    This one seems like a classic example of a domestic flight where fares are likely to be lowest between 3 and 7 weeks from departure. So according to the data, early May would be the time to start getting serious about booking. But if your dates are set, and since these are Sundays (which tend to be busy), you should probably check every week or so, and be ready to buy once you see a dip in fares. Good luck. -Roger

Jessica says:

Do you think flights from China follow a similar pattern? We are planning a trip to Europe this summer, flying out of Shanghai, roughly July 5 to Aug 15. Are we better off waiting a bit before getting tickets?



    I do think flights starting in Asia and going to Europe will follow a similar pattern in airfare changes. So the 11-weeks-out might be about when the fares will be cheapest, but if I were you I’d check them at least every week starting now, and be ready to buy when you see the fares go down. It seems unlikely that they’ll only go up from here. Good luck. -Roger

edmund says:

I am looking at airafres from Madrid to london 1.1.15 , as this is peak should i buy the tickets now. Also looking at tickets rome to Barcelona 28.12.14 peak season, tickets on sale but not Ryanair, should I wait till they put there tickets up for this period or wait.



    For the flight on January 1 from Madrid to London, I do think that you are best off buying early. On specific holidays like that, fares tend to just keep going up.

    As for Rome to Barcelona next 14 December, that one might get cheaper on major carriers, but if you are thinking of going on Ryanair or any other low-cost airline, you are best off buying tickets as early as possible. On those carriers, all seats start off cheap, and go up in price as the plane fills up. Good luck. -Roger

DANIEL says:


I was thinking of going to New York (JFK) from Los Angeles (LAX) for Memorial Day Weekend 5/23/14 – 5/26/14. Do you know when the best time would be to purchase tickets for a reasonably cheap rate ($350 or less)?




    It’s probably bad news that I think any possibility of a ticket that cheap are probably gone. You want to go on the most popular travel days of a popular travel holiday weekend, and the research says that those generally just keep going up in price. If you went a week before or a week later, the fares will probably be lowest around 4 or 5 weeks out, but so many people want to fly on those exact dates, the airlines have no motivation to cut prices. Sorry, and good luck. -Roger

Kyle says:


I’m planning to go to South Korea (ICN) from Toronto (YYZ) the first week of August. I’m pretty flexible with my dates, if needed I can go the 4th week of July or 2nd week of August. When do you suggest I start looking to buy? If I understand the 11 week thing correctly then I should look sometime in May for a departure in August?

Thank you!



    More than one study has shown that “international” flights are cheapest about 11 weeks out, while the newer data from just recently is more specific in saying that flights from North America to Asia are cheapest from 3 to 4 months out. My guess is that the longer the flight, the earlier people tend to buy, so airlines start raising fares again sooner. In other words, you are already within the prime window for the July departures, and very close for August as well. Look for any price break you can find, and be ready to buy. Good luck. -Roger

Anthony says:

Thanks for taking the time to reply to everyone’s message. I’ve been looking at flights from San Francisco Airport (SFO) to New Orleans (MSY) for about a month now for July 9-13, and I haven’t seen them get as low as they are posted today for (~$410).

Going by the information you posted here though, I should wait until May for lower-priced tickets? I’m just worried I’m risking the low price for even more lower-priced tickets. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks Roger.



    This is a subject I find very interesting so I’m happy to check these scenarios and give my opinion. In this case I do think chances are very high that even lower fares will appear starting late this month or early May, and the studies suggest that could go all the way through mid June. Even’s Price Trend tool says fares are likely to go down, although they only evaluate the next 7 days.

    So my opinion is that the lower fares are coming up, and it seems very unlikely that they’ll go up from here and just get higher and higher (as they would on Southwest or other low-cost airlines). But with all of that said, it sounds like you’ve got firm dates, and returning on a Sunday is a popular thing to do, which might work against you. In other words, if those are the only dates you are willing to fly, you might not want to risk it by waiting and waiting. Like, if you were able to go on the 8th and return on the 12th instead, you’d have more backup possibilities. That way, even if fares go up for the Sunday flight, you could just lock in the Saturday flight before that one goes up too.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

Allison says:

I’m looking to fly from YYC (Calgary) to NCL (Newcastle, UK) for around Christmas (probably 16 Dec to 31 Dec). The best I am seeing at the moment (with reasonable travel duration and only 1 stop) is around $1185 (CDN). Would you envisage the price dropping at all (e.g. airline special offers) or should I just go ahead and book now?
Thanks in advance.



    The data from past years says that flights around the big holidays tend to just keep getting more and more expensive as the departure date nears. Those are prime dates for a Christmas trip, and I’d think that going into a 2nd-tier airport like Newcastle makes it even tougher because there just aren’t that many flights to choose from.

    So my best guess is that it’s unlikely that the fare will drop, and it’s far more likely to just keep going up. On the other hand, it’s so far in advance that it might drop a bit at some point. If if were me and I was locked into those dates and those airports, I’d probably buy soon. You might save a bit of money by flying into Manchester or Edinburgh, but probably not enough to make it worthwhile.

    Fortunately, the fare you are looking at seems pretty good compared to summer fares, so buying soon is probably the way to go. -Roger

Steve says:

So I’ve been planning on booking a flight from JFK to LAX on 7/1/2014 to 7/7/2014 and I’ve been wondering what the ideal time of purchase should be. I read through some of the previous comments and I’m guessing the best time would be around the beginning of May? I just want to make sure because this is my first trip across the states without the help of my parents. Thanks in advance. 🙂



    This one could be a bit tricky. On most dates, the 3 to 7 weeks thing is typically the cheapest time to buy on domestic US fares, and it may be true on this one as well. But, since July 4 is a Friday and a huge holiday in this country, many people will be taking that week off, so that might be a popular week to travel.

    My best guess is that fares will go down in May, but maybe not by too much because the flights will probably be more sold than flights a week or two later. I doubt they’ll go up quickly from here, so you should have time to look and think about it. And NYC to Los Angeles is a very busy and competitive route, so even if one or two airlines start raising their prices, there will probably still be a few who don’t follow suit at the same time. Good luck. -Roger

Aisyah says:

i would like to fly to America (New York) in Dec’14 throughout chrostmas and New Yr. i have checked through skyscanner the amt is SGD 1,400++. i never fly to america before so im not sure what is the lowest price and when would be the best time to buy the flights?

What would be the average price to fly to America during these period?




    As mentioned in the article above, it’s more expensive to fly during big holiday periods, and they don’t get any bigger than Christmas. Since you mentioned SGD, I assume you are leaving from Singapore? If so, that looks like a pretty good price for a long round-trip flight like that. I’m actually surprised it’s not higher. It’s rare to find a round-trip flight between the US and Asia for less than US$1,000 (SG$1,250) at any time of year.

    So if you want to do this trip around the Christmas weeks, you are probably seeing the lowest fares now, and at some point they’ll start to climb even more. Best of luck. -Roger

Lily says:

Hi, I’m looking to fly to Vegas from Toronto on June 20-23 and the best price I could find now is about $680 direct with flight times that work for my schedule. I’ve typically bought flights for less than $600 in the past, so am a bit hesitant to pay this much. Do you think prices will go down, or should I just book this flight now?




    There isn’t really anything special about that long weekend you will fly on, so my best guess is that fares will drop either late in April or sometime in May. At least that’s what the past data suggests, and your own experience with normally-lower fares seems to back it up. It’s a popular route so you’ll have choices even if the most ideal ones stay where they are. Best of luck. -Roger

Allan says:

I will be flying from Calgary (YYC) to Montreal (YUL) on specific dates that are not really flexible, leave Jun 12, return Jun 15. My friend is worried that if I wait too long, prices will go up. But it is still 9 weeks away. Should I wait a couple of weeks to get into the 3-7 week window? Are all these tips and surveys the same for Canada airlines (basically Air Canada and Westjet) as they are for U.S. airlines?



    I have no reason to believe that the fare pattern for domestic US airlines would not be the same for domestic Canadian airlines. The complication is that WestJet is a low-cost airline and (as mentioned in the article above) those use different pricing strategies than traditional airlines like Air Canada. So those flights on WestJet should keep going up in price, while the Air Canada flights might still come down a bit in the coming weeks.

    So if you like what you see on WestJet, you should buy it soon because it’s very unlikely to get any cheaper. But if you wait there is a chance that Air Canada will get cheaper. I hope it works out well for you. -Roger

Brenda says:

Hello Roger, my husband and I are going to Guatemala the 3rd week in July from Calgary Canada. Returning from Nicaragua back to Calgary Aug 6. We are helping a couple of groups for humanitarian purposes. Because this is not a flight returning from the same destination it is a little higher. When is the best time to search for flights, and is Canada to Central America in the international category? Kayaks study for Central America says 6-8 weeks out. Is that from Canada as well as the US?
Thank you for your help.



    I can’t be 100% sure, but it does appear that the Kayak data works the same for the US and Canada. The travel patterns and holidays are mostly the same, and many of the airlines are the same as well. So I think it’s safe to assume that the fare structure is the same when it comes to timing.

    You might have already done this, but just to be sure, it’s worth checking the cost of a one-way flight from Nicaragua back to Guatemala City. In many cases where an “open jaw” ticket like you have in mind is expensive, you can actually save money by booking a round-trip and then the one flight on a local airline to connect the triangle. Either way, best of luck with this. -Roger

Melanie says:

Hi Roger,

I am traveling to Jamaica leaving on 6/21/14 from Reagan national airport(DCA) or BWI and returning on 6/28. Are the flights more than likely to drop or will they continue to creep up. They were running between $450-500 but now are $600-800. Not sure if I should book now or do I still have time to catch a cheap flight?

Thank you in advance for your help



    According to the most recent data, flights to the Caribbean tend to be cheapest only a few weeks out. And since June isn’t really part of the high season in Jamaica, it seems unlikely that those planes are actually filling up. The data even says that flights can still be cheap only one-week out, so I really think they will go down again. Needless to say, there are no guarantees, but all the signs indicate that fares will be lower early in June, and hopefully (for your sanity’s sake) sooner than that as well. Good luck. -Roger

Chris R says:

Hi Roger,

We are trying to book our flights from JFK Airport in NY to Bangkok Thailand (BKK), from June 25 to July 9 round trip. We just missed the big dip in air fare at the end of March. Its already 10 weeks away, so we are worried we will have to pay the 1600 – 2000 usd prices we see right now. We’ve been checking everyday too! Should we settle for the prices now? I think we are also past the 3-4 minth window you described above…


    Chris R,

    I see you are already planning on flying there and back on Wednesdays, which is normally a good thing, but in this case it probably means that you are indeed seeing the lowest fares available. If I were in your shoes I’d be ready to buy soon because it seems unlikely that fares will drop again between now and departure day. One possibly good sign is that’s Price Trend tool says that fares are likely to be lower in the coming 7 days. So you might find that they’ll pop down at least a bit in the coming days, and hopefully they won’t just keep going up.

    I just checked for flights leaving on that Tuesday, and there are Turkish Airlines options that are cheaper (and Turkish is quite a nice airline compared to most others on that route). You might also consider instead flying into Kuala Lumpur, which also appears to be a bit cheaper. Kuala Lumpur is quite a nice city on its own, and you can get a flight from there to Bangkok for very little on Air Asia. If you went right from one airport to the other you’d probably have to change terminals in Kuala Lumpur, as the Low Cost Carrier terminal is almost 30 minutes away from the main terminal.

    But in general, I think you should try to book something this week. Best of luck. -Roger

Frank says:

Hello there,

I’ll be flying to South Korea(ICN) from San Francisco(SFO) on Friday, Sep 5 and return on Sun Sept 21. I’ve been checking prices on Kayak since beginning of this year in January, Singapore Airlines offered the lowest rate at $823, but it jumped up to $913 today. What happened here? Should I wait till 2-3 months from departure date in case price decreases? Your advice would be appreciated. Thank You.



    Those fares are surprisingly good for such a long round-trip, so it seems unlikely that they’ll drop much if they do go down again. I’ve priced flights from LAX and SFO to a variety of destinations in Asia, and it’s rare to see anything under US$1,000 at all. When I just run the dates myself, I see United offering the cheapest, at US$882 including a stop in Tokyo on the way there or the way back.

    However, based on the trends in Kayak’s recent report, it does seem likely that fares will be lower in June and/or July than they are now. So my best guess is that time is on your side for now, but on the other hand, this is a case where the risk might not have much of a pay-off in the end. In other words, if you can keep it under US$900 for convenient flight times on a quality airline (like Singapore or even United) then I think you are doing well, and I can’t imagine the fare would ever get near US$700, and even US$800 seems like a phenomenal deal. Best of luck. -Roger

Brenda says:

Trying to book a domestic flight from cae sc to memphis TN June 25-29 and price jumped over $100 within 24 hrs. Should I book now or wait closer to May?



    This looks like a classic case of a domestic (US) flight that should probably be cheapest during that 3 to 7 week window. Columbia looks like a small airport without many flights, but at least the major US carriers are there, and that should keep competition active. So my best guess is that you will see lower fares sometime in May. I hope it works out for you. -Roger

Dan P. says:

Hi Roger,

Love the very detailed information you have here. We’re leaving at around the 2nd week of August to San Francisco from Toronto. Should I treat this as a domestic flight and look for prices around mid june-july? Also, still very far, but my colleagues have been checking the prices a lot. It’s been hovering around $500+ but it went down at one point at around the $460s, and back to the current range. They’re convinced that we should pull the trigger when it goes down again to the 450-500 range. Any idea about the market price if we just wait for the most ideal time to buy these tickets?


    Dan P.,

    Everything that I’ve heard says that Canada and the US are basically one market for flights, so the same trends would be expected. So I do think chances are good that the fare will be lower in June or July. Another trend worth mentioning is that airlines traditionally don’t do fare sales for more than a couple months at a time. Right now they are trying to fill seats for June flights, and for July flights, so they cut fares just enough to fill those seats. The August fare “sale” won’t really start until June.

    As for the historical trends, I just checked for fares in early May (which would be at or near their cheapest right now), and I see a round-trip on US Airways going out and United coming back for US$379. A few other airlines are just a bit higher than that, so we can be safe in saying that anything under US$400 is a great deal, and under US$450 is probably good enough to buy as long as the connections are good. Best of luck. -Roger

Belinda says:

Will be travelling to So. Africa on June 29 to arrive by July 1. Returning around July 30. Should I wait to see if prices go down in May or early June. Thanks.



    Without knowing the starting point, it’s difficult to be too sure. But I’ll assume you are going to South Africa from a long way away, and if so I think fares will probably start going up again by early June, if not much sooner. The 11-weeks-out timing seems most likely to apply to a longer international flight like this. Good luck. -Roger

Janie says:

Thank you Roger…. I left a message about a month ago, about flights to Mexico for a wedding in June. The rates were going up and up, and getting so nervous. You said to try to hold off as long as possible. I was looking at flights during work, at home and if I woke up in the middle of night. They were not going lower, just higher. But this am at 7 am – they went down, finally. Still a little high, but have to consider the taxes on top. Couldnt wait it out anymore, booked!! It always nice to go to a destination wedding, but it ends up costing a lot as well…

Thank you for your help and advise.



    That’s great to hear, at least that it wasn’t a disaster. I know that nervous feeling when fares are going up when I expect them to go down, and it’s no fun. Thanks for taking the time to let us know of the result, and I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Mexico. -Roger

Mary says:

This is the best advice I’ve seen on ticket timing and I am following the recommendation for a flight from Boston to Dublin and watching daily. My question is are you aware of any good source for checking what a good fare would be for comparison purposes? Maybe a historical fare trend for that month? Am new to Boston and really have no idea whether a good fare will be 550 or 800 so am just wondering. Thanks for a great article and patient replies to comments!



    I’m happy that you’ve found this information to be helpful. As for figuring out historical fares for a city pair, one way to do that is on When you put in both cities to the search box, you’ll see a calendar below that shows the cheapest available price for every date in a given month. So I see that a round-trip from Boston to Dublin is as low as US$871 in July, but only on two days in the month, while most days are over US$1,000. But for September, the lowest fare for each day is between US$730 and US$780, so it really depends on the month and even day of the week you want to leave. Hopefully this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Susan says:

Great information! Thank you so much. I’m planning my first trip to Europe, to Italy, for late September, so according to this information the best time to buy tickets would be the end of June or early July. I am one of those people who gets a little tense when there are loose ends, so my only question is, does waiting tend to limit your flight options much? In other words, right now I am seeing all kinds of great flights to and from; if I wait another two months, do I risk all the really good flight times being sold out? Thanks!!



    Yes, the data says that fares for a late-September departure from the US to Europe (I’m assuming you are in the US or Canada) will probably be lowest around the beginning of July. And interestingly, that time of the year is one of the slowest for long-haul flights, so your options will probably still be wide-open if you wait until then, or maybe even better. One sure thing is that these late-September flights won’t be selling out until mid to late September, if they sell out at all.

    In other words, I think you are in a very good position if you wait for fares to come down a bit. But I also know that itchy feeling of wanting to lock in some final details just so you can mentally get to the next stage of planning and anticipation. That sort of anxiety is precisely why airlines charge more for flights purchased 5 months early than those purchased 3 months early. They know that many people are willing to pay US$100 or US$200 more, just to be certain of all of it, so they charge more for it.

    So you will almost certainly have a chance at a lower fare if you wait until the end of June, but will the uncertainty be worth it for you? Depending on your personality, it might be worth a bit more to get it all booked. There’s always a small chance that you’d get unlucky and a few large groups are trying to go to Italy on the same day you want to go, which could limit any potential airfare bargains. Personally, I prefer to wait for what I think will be the bottom for the fares, but that’s because I have a flexible schedule (usually) and can go the next day or the next week in most cases. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

Emily says:

Hi, Roger,

Thanks for all the responses. I just wanted your opinion as well! I am trying to purchase 4 tickets from Houston to London, nonstop flight, for late July. I missed a huge drop in prices in early April (down to $1100 on kayak), and now they have been up around $1488+ for the same tickets. If we wait until 11 weeks out, that’s about a month from now, in mid May, is that right? Or is it safer to buy now (the same tickets that were $1100 are currently $1607!).



    The non-stop thing will make this tricky because (according to a test I ran recently) non-stop flights between the US and Europe are much more expensive than 1-stop flights this year. So with that factored in, I’m not quite so sure about what fares will do.

    Generally speaking though, I’d think that fares from Houston to London for late July are likely to go down by at least a bit within the next month or so. Most people try to do these trips in June or earlier in July, so the second half of summer usually sees a few relative airfare bargains, but they don’t put them on sale until the June flights are more full. It seems very unlikely that fares will just keep going up from here, and keep going up and up. Especially if you are willing to stop somewhere along the way (like Iceland or Ireland), I think you can do a lot better than US$1,500 if you wait a few weeks. Good luck. -Roger

Ana says:

Hello, me and 10 other people want to go from Los Angeles to London and then from London to Portugal and then from Portugal back in July.
Should I buy a multi city ticket or two separate flights?
And when is the best time to buy?
Thank you.



    My guess is that it would be cheapest to book a round-trip from LAX to London, and then a separate flight from Portugal back to London on a low-cost carrier. Depending on your dates, it might actually be cheaper the other way, where you get a round-trip from Los Angeles to Lisbon, and then fly directly from London once you get there. In my recent tests, I found that one-way flights across the Atlantic tended to be more expensive than one round trip and an extra portion to get back to the starting point.

    As for when to book for the best fare, this is an example of the 11-weeks-out type of trip, so you’ll want to book soon for a trip in July.

    Another thing to consider for a large group like that is that it might be cheaper to book it in smaller chunks. What happens is that the airlines show you the fare for the most expensive ticket in your group, and 11 people on one flight is probably enough to push it into the next fare category. In other words, a plane might have 5 seats left at, say, US$900, and all additional tickets would jump up to US$970. If you ask for 11 tickets at once, it would charge you US$970 for all of them. But if you bought 4 or 5 tickets first, you’d get the US$900 fare for those, and you’d only have to pay US$970 for the rest. I hope this makes sense. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

      Ana says:

      Thank you for your reply.
      We have to leave on Thursday Night on July 3rd from Los Angeles to London, then on July 8 go from London to Lisbon and then from Lisbon to Los Angeles on July 19.
      Should I buy the tickets right now?
      I was checking round trip to London and then a separate round trip flight from london to lisbon and it is the same price as a multi city ticket. It is around 1940. It is too much. Do you think it will go down within the next few weeks?
      Thank you.

shahid says:

i would like to travel toronto to dhaka this end of july or first week of august.for 4 weeks. price are not droping so,should i wait anather week?



    This is a tough one. The data says that flights from North America to Asia are usually cheapest when booked either 9 or 10 months out, or 3 or 4 months out. So right now you are right within the later period, which would mean that fares would be expected to be lowest about now. Not many people fly to Bangladesh from longer distances, so I think there just might be limited supply.

    I just tested it out myself, and I’m seeing fares that are about US$1,500 to US$1,700 as the cheapest flights. If you are seeing similar fares, you should probably think about buying soon. But if you are seeing higher fares then there might still be some creative ways to get there cheaper. Best of luck, and let me know if I can be of further help. -Roger

Jastina says:

Hi. I’m planning a trip to South Asia in October, will be flying from Uk (Manchester) to Bangkok. I’m not flexible on dates. When would you advice me to buy tickets?



    I’m less sure than normal on this one because I don’t have any independent data on flights between Europe and Asia. Still, my best guess is that fare patterns would be the same, meaning that tickets are cheapest 9 or 10 months in advance, and then again 3 to 4 months in advance. So you’ve missed the first window, and the second window would be in June and July.

    My advice would be to keep track of fares now and check at least every week or so. When you see them go down, be ready to buy. I’d think that chances are excellent that fares won’t just keep going up from here because October is very much the low season in Bangkok and in the UK as well. In other words, it’s very unlikely that the flights you are looking at will actually fill up more than just a few days before they leave. Best of luck. -Roger

edi usa says:

hi roger I am flying to Dyseldorf Germany , and Tirana

in jun 30 what is dhe best time too bye , and lufthanza have sell in may evry year ???


    edi usa,

    I don’t quite understand the question, but if you are looking to fly from the US or Canada to Dusseldorf on June 30, the cheapest time to buy would be mid May to early June. -Roger

Elle says:

I’m flying into Athens from Toronto last week of August and flying out of Barcelona second week of September, when is the best time to buy my ticket? Currently, the best price is $1005 with Air Transat. Is this a good price or do you think it will still drop?
Thanks in advance.



    Just trying that myself, flying Toronto to Athens on August 27 and back from Barcelona to Toronto on September 10 and changing in Brussels in both directions, I am seeing a fare of US$832. Aside from that flight, it’s more like US$1,100 and up for the rest.

    Overall I think that fare will be lower in July than it is now, probably within the standard 3 to 7 weeks out time-frame. That’s already the start of the slower season, so I think waiting to buy until at least early July is probably the way to go. Really, anything under US$900 is a good deal and you should be ready to buy when you see it. Good luck. -Roger

      Elle says:

      Thank you for the prompt response. I will wait it out (kinda nervous)and try to keep an eye on the price. I’m looking at Aug 27-Sept14 dates.



        I know that nervous feeling, but in this case I think you’ll be okay because it’s still a long time off and you are going at the beginning of the slow season for flights. There are other cases where it’s borderline, but this time the data says time is definitely on your side. -Roger

Craig says:

I’m planning a trip from either JFK/Laguardia ariport to Kingston Jamaica round trip from the 2nd week of July to mid August. Should i wait for the 2-3 weeks period to book? Seeing that is peak summer travel time.



    The peak travel time for the Caribbean is from Christmas through March, although that might effect Montego Bay more than it does Kingston. Still, the Kayak data says that Caribbean flights tend to be cheapest in the few weeks just before departure. As an experiment, I just checked fares for dates around yours and found US$420 to be the cheapest fare, and then I checked for leaving 3 weeks from today and US$393 is the cheapest fare, and it only requires one stop instead of two like the other one.

    So my best guess is that fares will come down again in June, although it might not be by too much. I’d check on a regular basis, and if you see a fare drop, be ready to buy. Good luck. -Roger

Jeana says:

Hello Roger,

I’ve been reading your advice on June flights to Cancun. I’m flying out of OKC for a wedding on the 19th and returning on the 22nd from what I can tell from your posts, the prices should drop next week or the following. Am I correct in thinking that or should I book now? When I pull flights 3 to 4 weeks from today (Thursday – Sunday) they are considerably lower, but I know late June flights can be tricky. I don’t want to pay 650 for 22 hours of layovers or 1000 for reasonable travel time. What are your thoughts?



    I agree with your analysis. I just ran a test and it was US$650 on your dates, but only US$527 (on fairly convenient flights) if you were leaving exactly 3 weeks from now, and still doing a Thursday through Sunday. So the Caribbean pattern of lowest fares 2 to 3 weeks out seems to hold up. Even the Kayak tool (which only looks out 7 days from now) says you should wait. This looks pretty solid so I don’t think there is much risk in waiting, and fares are almost certain to go down. Best of luck. -Roger

Steffie says:

I am planning a trip to Brisbane Aussie in fall 2015, preferably in October from Washington DC, which airlines, and when should I start to look to purchase online or should I buy directly from the airlines? Thanks!



    That’s a long ways off, but planning ahead is probably wise. My best guess is that fares will follow the same pattern as those from the US to Asia, which is:

    Asia: 9-10 months out. If you miss this window, shoot for 3-4 months out

    I think that people generally buy earlier for longer distances. Plane tickets go on sale 11 months in advance on most airlines, so start checking this coming November for probably the lowest fares. If they start going up again before you are ready to buy, you can probably save by waiting until the 3 to 4 month period.

    As for which airline, I really wouldn’t limit myself if I were you. Qantas is a good one that might end up being your best bet, but all airlines that are flying really long distances like that will use larger wide-body planes that are comfortable and (of course) safe. Just go by whichever airline has the lowest fare on the best schedule, and I’m sure you’ll be happy with the service. You should get the same fare on any search site that you use. I like to at least get the fares, and you can buy directly from the airline once you’ve made the decision. -Roger

Steph says:

A group of us (3 couples) are traveling from Toronto to Miami on November 14, preferably morning flight, returning to Toronto November 22, afternoon flight. Right now for the times I like it’s $539 return. When would you advise we book? I know US Thanksgiving is the week after we return. Is this good for us, and therefore prices could drop? I know we are still 6 months out but I’m one of those that you mention in the article that frets until they are booked! LOL Thanks for your help!



    I just ran those dates and I see nonstop Air Canada flights for US$432, including one leaving on that morning. There are a bunch of WestJet flights for only a little more, although those require a change in Montreal. And fares for those same flights leaving 3 weeks from now are only a little cheaper, starting just over US$400.

    Leaving on a Friday and returning on a Saturday are popular days to fly, but the overall demand for those dates should be pretty low and the US Thanksgiving shouldn’t effect you at all. In other words, I think time is on your side, and you should be able to book flights for around US$400 return. As stressful as it might be to wait it out, I do think it’s your best move for now. And check the fares periodically and if you see them go down, be ready to buy. Good luck. -Roger

Norman says:

I am planning to fly from Johannesburg to Bangkok 6th December 2014, from Bangkok to Mumbai 13th December 2104 and return to Johannesburg from Mumbai on the 3rd January 2015. When should I buy my air tickets for the best price?



    My normal advice for flights like these would be 3 to 4 months out, but maybe not in your case. The Joburg to Bangkok flight will probably be cheapest about 3 to 4 months out. From Bangkok has competition on some low-cost airlines, which means it’s probably cheapest right now. In fact, I see it’s US$189 right now on Sri Lankan Airlines with a change in Colombo, or US$239 nonstop on Jet Airways. If you are sure about this trip, I think I’d buy one of those now because it seems unlikely to get cheaper than it is now.

    The 3rd of January return flight could also be tricky because it’s obviously right after a big travel holiday. I see that Kenya Airways has that one for US$435 right now, which seems like a pretty good fare. I’d be tempted to get that one now as well because the Saturday after New Years is a date that thousands of other travelers will also be trying for, so fares are probably going to keep going up from here. That first leg is only US$444 on Qatar Airways (which is a nice one) right now, and that might come down a bit in a few months, but it looks like US$380 is about as low as it might go, so that might also be worth just buying soon to get it over with and not have to worry about fares going up. Good luck. -Roger

Jess says:


I will be going to Cancun for a wedding and the bride has already booked the hotel so I can’t pick the hotel I want to stay at.
I want to leave around July 5 or 6 and leave on 10 ( the wedding is on 7th). When do you think is the best time to book for package deal (flight+hotel)?


I have not heard Aeromexico in some of your replies.
Is it a new airline and are they pretty good (service, on time, schedule etc) ?




    It’s tough for me to be confident about advice without knowing your starting point, but assuming it’s somewhere in the US or Canada, the cheapest fares might be in mid to late June. The problem is that you seem to have exact travel dates, and your departure will be the Saturday after July 4, which could increase demand depending on where you are. So I think that waiting is likely to bring fares down a bit, but maybe not, or not by much. I think I’d track fares starting now, and if you see them go down at all, be ready to buy.

    Aeromexico is the largest domestic airline in Mexico, and I don’t believe they have a reputation that is any worse than its main competitors (people complain about almost every airline these days). They’ve been around for 80 years and they are safe enough to be allowed to fly in and out of the US every day, so I would book them if they have the best fares and/or flight times. Good luck. -Roger

      Jess says:

      Hi Roger,

      I will be traveling from DTW. Thanks for the information!
      I saw some good package deals with Aeromexico but I have never travelled with them so was kind of hesitant. I think they are part of Delta ?



        Aeromexico has codeshare deals with Delta, and both airlines are part of the SkyTeam Alliance, but I don’t think there is shared ownership. Still, they are a professional outfit and I haven’t heard any special complaints about them so those package deals might be ideal. Best of luck. -Roger

Kris says:

Hi! My family is planning a trip to Paris July 9-21 (+/-day). With the 11 weeks out you think we should really book now or good chance it will be lower? And sure thing last week there is $1523 flight now it’s gone. Flying from MSP and hoping with delta. Any advice, thank you.



    Unfortunately, I think those fares are more likely to go up than down at this point. You are only about 9 weeks out, and July is obviously high season for trips like this. I just ran your dates and I see some Delta flights for US$1,569, changing in Montreal with pretty convenient times. These fares do seem high, but I’m afraid they’ll keep inching up. Good luck. -Roger

Jana says:

Any idea if Eid al-Fitr is considered a holiday on domestic flights in terms of prices being higher around that time? When I look at the Southwest calendar, the cheapest day to fly back from NY to Seattle around that time is on Eid, which is a Tuesday. The most expensive day to fly back is the day after Eid. Is it a coincidence? Should I buy now, or should I follow the 6-8 week rule? Thanks.



    My guess would be that demand would be higher for flights right after Eid al-Fitr, but I really don’t know. However, if you are looking for flights on Southwest Airlines, they start with low fares and raise them as the planes fill up. So the cheapest time to buy a ticket on Southwest Airlines is now, always. The same is true for most other low-cost airlines around the world. -Roger

jovita says:

HEy I want to book a flight to toronto for aug end week
when shud i ideally book ?
waiting for some valuable tips



    Your answer is probably in the article above, but I can’t help more than that without knowing where you are starting from. -Roger

Tanvir says:

Hi Roger

Thanks for your kind responses to the queries.
I am looking for a ticket from RDU, NC to DAC, Bangladesh.
I am planning to fly around December 10 to 15 and willing to come back at the middle of January. As I am a Student and
I am not sure about my final exam dates of the fall semester.
I was looking for the tickets today and it seems like if
I fly from Washington Dulles airport in stead of RDU then the
Price is much lower, I got one for 1100 today.
Is there any data regarding the airport which will be cheaper to fly
Bangladesh? What will be the best time for me to cut the ticket?

Thanks in advance.



    As for when to buy, the most recent data about fares from the US to Asia is this: “Asia: 9-10 months out. If you miss this window, shoot for 3-4 months out.” So you’ll probably see the lower fares in August or September for your trip.

    I have run many tests on airfares into different European cities, but so far none about fares into Asia. Still, my tests almost always have indicated that you won’t save money by buying two different tickets, as in, one to Washington DC and then another from there to Bangladesh. So my best guess is that you’ll be best off buying one ticket from your home airport, unless you are close enough to DC to take a bus or train to get there. Still, if it were me, I’d try different airports because it only takes a few minutes. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Eva says:

We are going to Rome and our family in Rome did not advised us that coming back to Melbourne should be from Milan as this is our last designation. My ticket is to Rome and same airport for departure. Are we able to change the airport for departure at the same date? Or we should go back to Rome? which is cheapest, buying a ticket back to Rome or to change the departing airport? and how to change it. We have a very discounted ticket?



    You’d have to check the terms on your ticket to be sure, but generally you can’t change departure airports without redoing the whole ticket. That would usually include a cancellation fee of anywhere from US$100 to US$250 per ticket, and then you’d have to pay the going rate for the Milan to Melbourne flight, which might also be higher.

    Almost certainly your best bet will be to just complete your trip in Milan as planned, and then take a train back to the Rome Airport on departure day. The train journey (to Roma Termini) is 2 hours and 55 minutes, and will cost €43 per person if you book well in advance. From Roma Termini (the main train station) it will take 30 minutes and cost €11 to reach the airport on the Leonardo Express train, though it’s cheaper on slower buses and such. Buy your train tickets on the Italian Rail site, with the cheapest prices for tickets bought a month or more in advance. -Roger

Windsor says:

I’m looking for a one-way ticket from Cancun to Toronto in the end of August. When should I start to book? I’ve been tracking ticket prices for about 3 weeks now, and the prices seem to be only going up! I thought sales for Sun destinations can be had for a few weeks before the trip… Should I get the ticket now or wait? Please help.



    The studies typically test round-trip flights, but I think one-way flights should follow a similar pattern. The most recent data says that fares to/from the Caribbean are cheapest only 2 or 3 weeks out, so it’s not surprising that they are actually going up now. The end of August is really a dead time for Cancun, so it seems very unlikely that those flights would fill up soon. In other words, I think you can get a cheaper ticket if you can wait until only a few weeks before departure. It’s understandable to feel anxious when fares are actually going up like this, but in the long run you’ll save money by following the patterns mentioned in the article above. Best of luck. -Roger

Karen says:

We are leaving from Washington, D.C. to Johannesburg, South Africa in late July. I have been watching the deals on the flysaa website. They seemed to drop the price monthly (to about $1100pp), until now. They skipped over July and August and have dropped the price for September travel. The tickets are very expensive ($1800pp). Do you think they’ll go down in the next few weeks (according to your article- it says 3-5 weeks out for Africa)or should I just buy now at the higher rate. I’m nervous to cut it too close.




    This is a tough one because the data says 3 to 5 weeks out is usually cheapest, but it’s also possible that they don’t do late discounts like that during the busy months of July and August. The patterns for the busiest times can be different from the rest of the year, and that might not show up in the research.

    But I just did some checking, with a pair of dates in late July, and the lowest fares were about US$1,700. Then I checked the same thing except for 4 weeks from now, and there were many fares around US$1,450 each. In other words, it appears that the pattern from the research is still working, and I think you’ll save at least a couple hundred dollars if you wait for a few more weeks. It also seems unlikely that fares will just keep going up from here, so I don’t think there’s a huge risk in waiting. Good luck. -Roger

      Karen says:

      Hi again,
      I can’t figure out how to reply to your reply- but thank you! Just curious, were you looking specifically at South African Airways? We really want to fly there non-stop because our young children (3 and 1) will be with us, so I’ve primarily been looking at SAA for a direct flight. Also, I’m not sure if you’re able to look even closer- but the dates we were thinking will actually go into August. I’ve mostly been researching July 23 to Aug 6, but we’re flexible (+/- 4 days or so). Lastly, just to be clear- you think I should wait as much as 4 weeks from now to book? Thanks again! It’s really awesome that you respond to all of these comments! I appreciate it so much!


Mark says:


I’m looking at getting a return flight to Seattle from London mid July. I looked a few weeks ago and since then the prices have increased by £60. Should I buy now in case prices continue to rise, or should I wait a few weeks before departure and hope they decrease in price?




    According to the research, that fare would be cheapest about 11 weeks out, and right now you are about 8 weeks out. My best guess is that fares will stay what they are now, maybe they’ll dip a bit in the next week or two, but they might start to move up before going down. In other words, I think you should be ready to buy soon, and maybe just get it over with.

    By the way, you might also check EasyJet (or some other airline) to Reykjavik, and then Iceland Air’s nonstop from Reykjavik to Seattle. I did that late last summer, and it was actually cheaper than a single ticket the whole way. Good luck. -Roger

gsr says:

I am looking for flights from Hyderabad, India to JFK in Emirates via Dubai for my parents. I plan to join them from Dubai to JFK from Dubai. When i see, the fares on HYD-DXB-JFK are far less when compared to DXB-JFK on the same flight on same day. How should i go about it.Ideally DXB-JFK should be less !! appreciate your inputs.thanks in adv



    Ah yes, I’ve seen that before and it’s frustrating. The method for getting around it is known as “hidden city ticketing” but it really wouldn’t work for you because it only works when you can throw away the second portion of a ticket, rather than the first. In other words, if you bought a ticket starting in Hyderabad, but skipped the first leg and tried to board in Dubai, they would cancel your whole ticket (with no refund) because you missed the first leg.

    I think the only option would be to shop for a lower price on a different flight or airline from Dubai to JFK. There is a lot of competition on that route so you should get a decent deal, but of course that would mean just meeting your parents at the airports rather than flying with them. Unfortunately, there are no known tricks to get a lower fare in your situation. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

Karen says:

Hi Roger,
Not sure if you saw my reply above? I’ll copy it below:

Hi again,
I can’t figure out how to reply to your reply- but thank you! Just curious, were you looking specifically at South African Airways? We really want to fly there non-stop because our young children (3 and 1) will be with us, so I’ve primarily been looking at SAA for a direct flight. Also, I’m not sure if you’re able to look even closer- but the dates we were thinking will actually go into August. I’ve mostly been researching July 23 to Aug 6, but we’re flexible (+/- 4 days or so). Lastly, just to be clear- you think I should wait as much as 4 weeks from now to book? Thanks again! It’s really awesome that you respond to all of these comments! I appreciate it so much!




    Sorry I missed this comment a few days ago, and thank you for posting it again. I try my best to answer every question within 24 hours, but once in a while one will fall through the cracks.

    The flights that I was looking at were all with one stop in Europe on the way, and I see many of those for around US$1450 for your dates, but the nonstop on SAA is still US$1,812. And unfortunately, I checked those flights on dates 3 to 5 weeks from now and SAA is still US$1,812, even though 2-stop fares are as low as US$1,250 on some of them. So from the looks of it, the SAA fare probably isn’t coming down in the next few weeks, and if you get unlucky it could jump up soon, although my best guess is that it stays at that fare until it’s mostly full.

    It looks like you’ll either have to change planes on the way, or pay what South African Airlines is currently asking. Best of luck with it all. -Roger

      Karen says:

      No problem about the reply. I saw that you have replied within the day for most questions, so I assumed you just missed it. Thanks for your info!

      My father-in-law lives in New York City, so just to check other options, I looked for flights from NYC to Johannesburg too. I just found one for $1535 that uses Virgin Atlantic and goes from JFK to London with a 1hr 30min layover and then onto Johannesburg, and a 2hr 30 min layover on the return trip home. Do you think we should book that? I’ve seen other layovers in Europe that were 13+ hrs and didn’t want to end up with something like that.

      You said you saw flights in a few weeks for $1450 with layovers in Europe. Were those layovers very long? Also is Virgin Atlantic a good airline anyway? Thanks for any help you can provide!


        Virgin Atlantic is indeed a good airline with a good reputation. The seat pitch (room between your seat and the seat in front of you) is only 31″ on that route, which is a bit tighter than some others, but if you aren’t tall then it’s probably fine.

        I have a few more recommendations to help you make this decision. When you want to check layover durations and that sort of thing, run your flight search through They list results by how convenient each flight is, rather than just by price. They’ll have pretty much all the flights that do that route. And for specifics on seat comfort and amenities, as well as a listing with the “happiest” flights first, run your search through I love that site for finding which flights have more legroom and bigger seats (because I’m a big and tall guy). However, it’s a newer site and they don’t seem to list every flight so it’s hard to use it without also checking on the others.

        Lastly, if you are about comfort about specific seats on each plane, go to You can put in the airline and flight number, and it will show you a map of the plane along with which seats are best and which to avoid. With all of that info, you should be ready to make a decision, although feel free to ask again if something else comes up. -Roger

Sue says:

Hi Roger,
Multiple flights from ATL to SEA, then out PSC WA to ATL. Aug 7-10
Looking at 9 weeks out right now,$689
Scared they will not drop as I look though earlier weeks.
Any advise?



    This looks like a tricky one if you need to fly back from Pasco instead of going back to Seattle for a more-direct flight. I just ran your dates through the Kayak multi-city tool and I see many options starting at US$534, but with very long connections on the way home. I also ran the dates for just an ATL-SEA round-trip, and there are good options on US Air and Alaska starting at US$423 total. Then I ran that same trip through for dates two weeks earlier, and it was quite a bit more expensive.

    Generally, flights in July are more expensive than those in August because most people prefer to take trips earlier in the summer than later. If I were you, I might consider finding a way back to SEA by car or bus or something because it’s probably a shorter travel time anyway because you can avoid a potentially long layover. If you have to fly out of Pasco then fares might not come down because it’s kind of an obscure route with very little competition. And since the July flights are already showing higher, the fares might go up before long as well. Interesting dilemma, but I personally have no clear sense of which direction this one might go. Best of luck. -Roger

Johnny Large says:

I’m flying from Phoenix, AZ to Sydney, Australia November 23, 2014 and return December 21. We are taking a cruise within those dates and so must insure we be in Sydney at that time. Should we go ahead and book now, or take a chance that prices will go down in the next 60-90 days? Also, every airline (Delta, Virgin, United, Quantas) have almost exactly the same price quotes… this price fixing legal??



    Those trans-Pacific flights to Australia always seem to be weirdly expensive, so I understand your concern. But I’ve never heard any concrete accusations that it’s price fixing, so I think it’s mainly that one airline sets a price and the others know they have to be in the same range or their planes will fly empty. And if they price the seats too low, they will fill up the planes and still lose money. In situations where there is only one airline doing a route, consumers are at their mercy and that seems like a bigger problem.

    Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be anything special about the dates you are flying, and I’m seeing fares at around US$1,585 right now. When checking about a month earlier, the fares were about the same, but checking for flights leaving in late September and returning in mid October, the lowest fare is only US$1,450, although that’s with 2 stops on the way. So my best guess is that those fares you are looking at won’t change much in the next two months or so, and they might drop by a bit, though they also might jump up a bit. In other words, if you wait one or two months, you might save US$100 per ticket, but probably not more than that. Since you already have that cruise locked in, it’s probably worth it to just buy the plane tickets and get it over with. It’s just unfortunate that the “lowest” fares on this route are really high. Best of luck. -Roger

      Johnny Large says:

      Thanks very much for your informative reply Roger. Reading your other replies, they always seem to be intelligently written and chocked full of usual information. Your time and efforts are much appreciated.

Melissa says:

We are a family of six going to Rome on dec 20th thru dec 30th this year. I looked at flights in March and they were about 1400 per for direct. I have been watching the flights and they are climbing – now at $1600 per. Do you think they might come down or should we just book them. I considered going with one stop to save some money, however seeing the winter we just had and all the flight cancellations, I thought it would be difficult if we encountered delays or missed the connecting flight to find 6 available seats. What do you think?



    Sadly, the most notable exception to the “fares cheapest 1 or 2 months out” advice is a flight around a major holiday. The airlines are obviously aware that huge numbers of people want to fly somewhere before Christmas and back after Christmas, so the fare studies show that prices just keep going up. A big reason why fares go down with a month or two to go, is that travelers can go a week or two later if flights on their first choice dates are too high. But for flights around big holidays, they know that going a week or two later isn’t an option.

    A recent test I did with trans-Atlantic flights showed that non-stops are now MUCH more expensive than flights with a change of planes, so you will also pay a premium if you want the shortest possible flight with the smallest chance of a disruption. Personally, I think the flight delays at connecting airports are just really bad luck, and not an ongoing trend that will get worse and worse. Whether the higher fare is worth the slightly lower risk is worth it to you is a personal decision. Whichever you choose, I think buying soon is probably wise. Best of luck. -Roger

      Melissa says:

      Roger, thank you for this excellent advice! I booked our flights to Rome this morning and decided to forego the direct flight and travel via air lingus with a short transfer in Dublin. I feel great about this decision – Your guidance was reassuring and I spent $2000 less than if we travelled non-stop! Our family of 6 can definitely put that savings to good use visiting the many wonders awaiting us in Rome. Your extensive knowledge and quick response to my inquiry are much appreciated! All my best! – Meliissa

Iurie says:

Beside the fact that this article provides good tips and hints, I got impressed by all this helpful comments from Roger, cause I don’t remember any site that provides such detailed answers and explanation.
Great approach, great attitude.

P.S. Roger, how can I contact You?
(That’s nice of you to say. You can reach me at either of the email addresses on the Contact Us page, linked in the footer of every page. -Roger)

Lydia says:

Hi Roger,

I am planning to a trip from LA to Chicago and wanting to leave on December 30 and spend the New Year there. Since it will be winter season, I am thinking the airfare will be low. However, it is during holiday, so I am not sure when will be a good time to book my ticket. Any suggestions?



    Regardless of the weather, that flight on December 30 will be in high demand because so many people like to go visit friends for New Year’s, and also there will be thousands of Chicago residents who went to Los Angeles for Christmas who are heading home then. In other words, it’s the type of flight that is likely to just keep getting more expensive the longer you wait. However, if you are flying back to LA a week or two later, the demand for that part shouldn’t be so bad. Still, I think you are best off buying those tickets as soon as you are sure you are going because it seems much more likely that fares will go up instead of down. Best of luck. -Roger

Windsor says:

Hi Roger,

I’ve taken your advice to wait for a cheaper one-way flight from Cancun to Toronto departing the last week of August. I’ve waited and the prices seem to have continued to climb. Should I worry or wait? Should I worry that prices will continue to climb as it will be high travel season for the last week of August? Thanks for your continuous help!



    As I might have mentioned before, Cancun is part of the Caribbean when it comes to its airfare market, and the studies show that the lowest fares tend to be only a few weeks out. August is high season in Toronto, but not in Cancun so it seems unlikely that those planes are actually filling up at this point. I know how this feels though, to try to save money and instead see prices rising.

    My best guess is that fares will actually dip. In fact, I just checked and got fares starting at US$235 (with 2 stops) for that flight on a Wednesday late in August, and for a Wednesday three weeks from now I am seeing fares starting at US$179 with only one stop. So the pattern seems to be holding even now, and in late August it’s likely to be even less busy. In other words, I still think time is on your side, and 3 weeks before the flight is probably going to be the sweet spot, as long as you can keep your sanity between now and then. Best of luck. -Roger

margaret thomas says:

I am looking at flights, May 2015, from London to Las Vegas , return Denver to London, flight prices very high, we been going to us now for 12 years, and now prices are just as expensive as to Australia with further to go the cheapest price is British airways £795 plus extra for seats, other only 24hrs before, most of the other airlines are dearer, but ,the stop off on the way is either to short of 1hr 10 or a very long wait of 7hrs plus, I know the fares have only just come through, when do you think they will go down. I always used to book as soon a fares came out, I don’t want to pay more than £650



    According to all the data, the cheapest time to buy those flights would be about 3 months out, so maybe next February or even March. The airlines know that when people book 10 or 11 months in advance, that they have very specific dates in mind so they will pay more for the flights. Then the price stays about the same or maybe comes down a bit if it’s not a high-season trip, and starting about 3 months out they discount the remaining seats to try to fill them up. Your trip is not in high season so I can guarantee that they’ve only sold a few seats on those planes at most as of now. Waiting so long might make you nervous, but honestly you are pretty much certain to get a lower fare if you do. Best of luck with it all. -Roger

Diana says:

I do really liked your tips and im kinda wondering..please I need your advice because I wanna fly lima, Peru from PHX, USA on october…which its best month to search prices? Yes I plan round trip just for 8 struggling to find affordable price…I go alone but as soon im in peru, im returning back u.s. with my mom so how should I buy the flights online? Thanks in advance



    The most recent data says that flights between North and South America are cheapest about 6 months out. Since we are now 3 months out, I think buying soon is probably wise. It seems more likely that the prices will go up from where they are now than go down. Unfortunately, those flights can be expensive so there might not be a “cheap” ticket no matter when you search or buy. Good luck. -Roger

Janie says:

Hello. You helped me once before and I am back. Your help is always appreciated!! We used to fly into San Juan PR a lot if times through the years to go sailing in the BVIs. The non stop flight was always so reasonable. At times could be less than 300. Looking at April 2015. The price is 519. Nothing lower and nothing higher. I know it won’t go as it used to but. It should go lower correct? Looking at Newark nj into San Juan PR. Probably too early but just curious. I have the alert set up again. Do you feel it will go lower and when good time to book? As always thank you fir your help.

Aneta says:

I read your article but i’m still confused.
Im planning to travel one way from Chicago to Krakow, Poland in May 2015. There isn’t any direct flight and i have to stop in Warsaw. The cheapest flight would be through LOT Polish Airlines. Now i understand that the cheapest ticket is going to be around 11 weeks before, but there are now 3 fare types economy, premium and business class, and this is when I get confused. Would I be able to buy cheap tickets for all the fare types or just economy class? Hope this is not to confusing. Thanks Aneta



    The premium and business class tickets will always cost much more than the economy seats. Unfortunately, those special seats never have good sales, so the economy are the only ones that can ever be cheap. And yes, I think if you wait until next January or February you’ll probably get the best prices on economy seats. Good luck. -Roger

Janie says:


Looking st Newark to San Juan next April. The rates have been $519 every day since the time frame opened up. Just now went to $361. Do you think it will go lower as it gets closer. Thank you

Karen says:

Looking to go from Chicago to St. Maarten the week of 10-18. Will pricing likely go down. They are pretty high right now.



    Of course I can’t say for sure, but the research indicates that flights to the Caribbean are usually cheapest only a couple weeks out, and I’ve done many experiments that confirm it. Evidently, they keep fares high for people who want to lock in a resort well in advance, and only lower them for people who are looking for a last-minute deal on the whole trip. October is also one of the slowest months in the Caribbean, so that should help even more. In other words, if you can wait until only a few weeks out, you will almost certainly save money, even though that might be stressful as well.

    One thing I often try is to check for fares leaving 2 or 3 weeks from now and compare those to fares leaving a few months out. If you see that fares for the flights coming up soon are cheaper, that should give you more confidence that they will drop for the dates you want as well. Good luck. -Roger

Pat says:


I am looking for flights from Toronto to Los Angeles in mid October time. Last week for one day it was at $580 for non stop flights round trip, but I missed out on that deal. I have been looking at the flights for the last couple of days and they are all sitting at $700s. Do you think the prices may go down as it gets closer?

Thanks for your help.



    I just checked some random mid-October dates for that route and found nonstops to be US$784 and up. Then I checked similar mid-September dates and nonstops started at US$504 (on American Airlines). So yes, my best guess is that fares will come down again within the next month or so. The research says that 7 weeks out tends to be the start of the lower fares for flights like this, and my test showed that fares 7 weeks from now are much lower than those 11 weeks from now. We can never be sure, but I think you are safe in waiting. Good luck. -Roger

Olu says:

Hi Roger,

Good job helping people make good decisions for their flight purchases. I just cancelled a US Airways reservation purchased a few hours earlier, minutes ago from BWI via PHL to FRA to BWI via CLT (September 15-21). The price initially paid was $972.60, and kayak envisages the price to drop in the next week or so. Most of July the prices were $1300 I was wondering when do you think is best to purchase the ticket?



    I find studying airfare trends to be interesting so I’m happy to help when I have time, and I’m glad people appreciate it. As for your flight, I just ran the dates through Kayak myself and I see that they are 77% sure that prices will fall within the next 7 days. You are already about 7 weeks out, which is close to the end of the cheap window for international flights like this, so I’d be ready to buy soon.

    That Kayak tool is very helpful, but only for the coming week at any given time. They are 77% confident that the fare will drop by at least US$20. My best guess is that the fare could bounce downward by a bit in the coming days, but probably not by too much. I just checked for that same flight one week earlier and it’s the same fare (so that’s good news), though for that one they are 70% sure that the price might RISE within 7 days. So I’d recommend checking it every day, and obviously if it goes down from here you should buy right away. If it stays the same for a week, you should probably buy anyway. In the current airfare climate, US$972 seems pretty reasonable for that round-trip, so I doubt it would go down by much more. Best of luck. -Roger

Amanda says:


I am looking to travel to the Bahamas the last Thursday in October for an extended weekend (dates 10/30 to 11/3). Last week airfares were approximately 323.. They shot up to 469 earlier this week and came down to 409 today. Kayak is saying purchase now as flights will likely increase, but I’m not sure if I should wait. What do you advise? Thanks.



    The research indicates that airfares to the Caribbean tend to be cheapest only 2 or 3 weeks out, so it seems very likely that the fare will go down again between now and mid October. On the plus side, those dates are still during the slow season for the Bahamas so it’s very unlikely that the planes are actually filling up at this point. On the minus side, you are going for convenient long-weekend dates, so those will be among the first to go when people are actually buying.

    That Kayak tool is a bit confusing in that it only shows the outlook for the coming 7 days (mostly because they don’t want to tell potential customers to wait 2 months to buy), so for something like this you can’t really trust that it’s working in your best interest. Without knowing your starting city it’s hard to tell, but every time I’ve run tests on flights to the Caribbean, it has shown that fares do indeed come down in the weeks just before the flights (not counting major holidays) so I think they will come down for you as well. I’d think that US$323 again is very likely, and probably even lower if you can wait longer without making yourself crazy. Best of luck with this. -Roger

      Amanda says:

      Thanks so much, Roger! Your response was extremely helpful. Our starting city is Philadelphia. Please let me know if that changes anything for you.



        I’m glad it helped. I generally use New York City to test for generic airfare trends, so Philadelphia won’t really be any different. Fingers crossed that it works out for you. -Roger

Olu says:

Hi Roger,

Thanks for your prompt response, It is appreciated.

I had cancelled yesterdays reservation and re-purchased moments ago. Guess what? It went down by 20 cents from $972.60 to $ Kayak is advising to purchase now as it may increase. Since you stated the price was reasonable, I decided to pull the trigger again. I had intended to wait till August 15, 30 days before departure to see if the price will drop further, but couldn’t deal with the uncertainty and aggravation associated with it. Now I can go ahead peacefully with other plans for the trip knowing a key part of the trip has been taken care of.

Thanks buddy 😉



    I’m glad it worked out okay then. It’s hard to ignore the anxiety factor when we are waiting and hoping for a decrease but might see an increase, so I think you did the right thing. -Roger

Dee says:

Hey! I would like to go to Puerto Rico on the 31st of this month and stay for a week from ny. A few days ago the price was 254 now its about 297. Should I wait to see if the prices go down again or should I buy now? From what I can see it doesn’t seem as if the plane is filled up (over 50 seats left). Thank you!



    This is a tough one because you’ll be going over Labor Day weekend and obviously more people prefer to travel then. I just checked those fares myself and saw US$284 as the cheapest (nonstop on JetBlue), and when I check for one week earlier and two weeks earlier, the fares are quite a bit higher. So if I were you I’d think about buying soon because it looks like there is probably a better chance of the fares going up than going down at this point. If you wait a few more days it’s possible that it will get back down to $254, but it’s also possible that it will jump up to $350 or higher. On a busy travel weekend, I don’t know if waiting is worth the risk. Good luck. -Roger

Dee says:

Thank you for the quick response. Do you think I should possibly buy the one way flight for 126 and buy the other way separately, another time or does it not really matter?



    Buying them each as a one-way could work on this route. On many routes the two one-ways add up to much more than a single round-trip, but it appears these flights are the same price if you buy them together or separate. The return flight might come down in price if you wait a bit, but of course it might not. If you might be flexible on that return trip it would be even better. In other words, if you can possibly come home a day later or a day earlier, then gambling on the one-ways is less risky. Good luck. -Roger

Dee says:

Gotcha! Thank you.


I want to buy ticket from newark (EWR,USA) to BDQ(baroda,india). Departure on 11/27/2014 or 11/28/2014 and departure 01/02/2015(2ed jan.

What should I do?
1) Should I buy ticket now or wait more? as I show prices are going high nowadays.
2)What is the best dates to fly?

Thanks in advance…



    According to the data, the cheapest time to buy tickets from the US to Asia is 3 to 4 months out, unless you can buy much earlier even. So you are already within that window. Another challenge you have is the dates you have chosen. As you certainly know, the Thanksgiving holidays are the busiest weekend of the year in the US for flights, and your return flight the day after New Year’s is also very popular. I just checked some other dates around the ones you listed and I’m seeing similar prices, although if you leave and come back about a week earlier it does seem to lower the price by US$200 or so.

    So I think you might be in a tough spot if you are hoping to find a cheap ticket. If you can be flexible on your dates, you might find a better fare, but if you are pretty much locked into the ones you mentioned, I’d think about buying fairly soon. Best of luck. -Roger

Alicia Cantwell says:

My family and I are cruising out of Miami on January 3rd, 2015. We will be flying from either Toronto, On or Syracuse, NY depending on the price difference. We are planning on flying on the 2nd and returning on the 10th. Is this considered close to the holiday season because of New Years or are we best to wait until October or November? Right now it is $505 per person direct from Toronto.



    This is a tricky one because January 2nd flight prices will definitely be affected by holiday planners, while the return flight really won’t be. However, Miami is obviously an extremely popular destination for northerners all winter, so those return flights might also be filling up. If I were you I’d buy at least the outbound flight soon, and perhaps the return flight as well. In a case like this it just might not be worth the stress of waiting and hoping for a reduction that may never come. Best of luck. -Roger

Steph says:

Hi Roger!
Thank you so much for that information- it is very helpful!
I will be travelling to Europe (Either to London or Paris) return from Melbourne, Australia from the 24/11/14 to 12/01/15. I was planning on booking now (12 weeks until departure) but my partner is convinced prices will drop in September. What is your opinion? By the sounds of this blog I am going to wait another week to buy as the flight over there is technically out of peak but not sure whether to wait anymore than a week in hope of a sale?
Any advice will be much appreciated 🙂 Thanks



    I’m happy this stuff helps. Of course all I can do is guess about pricing patterns, but based on what you say and some little tests I just ran on your route, I think it’s probably safe to wait another week or two and hope for a lower price. You are indeed going off season (at least for Europe) and your return flight is still 4.5 months out, so my guess is that fares are more likely to come down before they start going up again. Even the Kayak airfare tool says it’s likely that prices will come down within the next 7 days, so I think it’s worth a risk, and it seems very unlikely that fares will shoot up soon and stay high. Good luck. -Roger

Kim says:

Hi Roger,

I am looking to travel to MIA from BGI (Barbados) October 17th to 21st. Do you expect the price to drop or should i purchase as is?

Thank You



    This is a strange one because the fares on that route seem to be unusually high (compared to what I expected). I ran quite a few tests and it seems that the fare doesn’t change much as time goes on, which is also unusual. Typically with Caribbean airfares the fares actually are lowest only 2 or 3 weeks out, but for this one the fare doesn’t seem to change much. My best guess is that you could wait and still get something similar to what you are seeing, and it might even go down if there is some autumn sale announced within the next few weeks. Best of luck. -Roger

Cicong says:

Hi Roger,

I’m looking to buy a plane ticket from Toronto to Hong Kong leaving on December 20 and coming back January 3 (the crazy Christmas travelling period). Should I buy the ticket now or wait a bit more? Tickets are now $2000+




    I just checked those dates and found flights on Jet Airways for US$1776, but all others are over US$2,000. Sadly, the research tells us that these fares are most likely to keep going up rather than down. Those popular holiday flights start filling up early, so the airlines have no real incentive to discount. Best of luck. -Roger

Willllll says:

Flying from NYC to Miami for a cruise. Flight down 11/11 and home on 11/16. At the moment prices seem to be hovering around $310-330+ (I am not using Newark Airport!) $310 isn’t bad, but when I went to school in Miami I remembered flights being $200-250 (about 4-5 years ago). Didn’t know if that was just the normal increase of flights over time or if I just hit the sweet spot 4-6 weeks back when…

Do you think I should just grab the $310 tickets now or wait for the sweet spot at the end of September?




    I remember those US$200 round-trips very well myself, and I think they are still possible at times, at least during the low season. I just checked your dates, and then for similar flights 6 weeks from now, and the fares came down to only US$285 for those. So my best guess is that if you waited a month, you might get something around US$285 for your flights, but that’s only about $25 less than the fares right now so I don’t think it’s worth it. At least if you bought soon, you’d get a better choice of seats, and you’d have the peace of mind knowing it won’t shoot up. That’s what I’d do if it were me. Best of luck. -Roger

Whitney says:

Hi Roger,

I am interested in buying tickets from Sydney Australia to Japan end March-early April 2015. This will be over the Easter break as well as hopefully tying in with Cherry Blossom season, so I am assuming it is peak.

Now I am aware that I am in the dreaded 7-months-prior zone, should I wait a bit or buy now? give it 2 months and not wait if it doesn’t fall by then? One flight is at normal price and the return is currently on a “sale” fare which seems to have already gone up since a few weeks back.

Thanks very much !



    While Spring Break and the cherry blossom season will add some extra travelers, I don’t really think they would qualify as peak season unless you absolutely need to leave on a Friday and return on a Sunday, or something like that. So I think as long as you can be a bit flexible with your dates, you are probably better off waiting and watching for fares to drop. With 7 months to go, it seems extremely unlikely that fares will just keep going up from here. Best of luck. -Roger

Mathew says:

I am planing to fly from COK (Cochin , India) to YYZ (Toronto,Canada) on November 19th . 2 Adults and 1 Infants ( Below one year). When should i purchase the tickets ?



    According to the research, those flights are likely to be cheapest about 3 or more months in advance, so it’s probably wise to buy as soon as possible. After checking these things for years, we rarely see these Asia to North America flights getting cheaper in the month or two before departure. Best of luck. -Roger

Pádraic says:

Hi Roger,

We are looking to fly from Toronto to Ireland (preferably Dublin) for Christmas this year. The dates are somewhat flexible, fly out 18th/19th and fly back around the 4th January. Do you think prices are likely to drop by any amount in the next couple of months?



    Being flexible with dates will help, but in my experience I think it’s unlikely that fares for dates that close to Christmas and New Years will drop. The airlines know that they can fill all those seats at higher prices, so they really don’t have any incentive to discount them. Good luck. -Roger

Krys says:

What about flying from Toronto to Miami in mid-February for a cruise? Is $1158.50CAD a good price for 2 tickets including taxes and fees? Does it make sense to wait for potential deals or would you recommend booking ASAP?



    That seems like a high price for those flights. I just checked a few random dates from November through February and was finding round-trips from TTO to MIA for around US$320 (CA$350) each. I think if you wait until December and maybe try some alternate dates, you should be able to get fares for very close to that CA$350 mark. Mid-February isn’t unusually busy, so I think the better deals are yet to come. Good luck. -Roger

monica hale says:

Hi. I’m wanting to buy a ticket for my son to come home for Thanksgiving, departing Nov.25(tuesday) returning Nov.29(saturday) will they go down during the week? I would like to buy sometime this week. Right now prices are 556. or will they keep going up? Thank you



    It’s hard to predict mid-week price drops, but it’s definitely possible. The airline insiders say that fares often drop on Monday evenings, and by Tuesday evening some other airlines match the drops. So it’s probably worth checking again starting on Monday night, and if the price hasn’t budged by Wednesday, that’s probably what you are stuck with. Good luck. -Roger

      Randose says:

      I have seen you advice that typical optimal times for booking occurs at 7wks ahead for DOM and 11 wks for INTL. I am in US (VA to be more precise) planning travel to USVI to dep Feb 19th and ret Feb 28th. I realize STT is in the US Virgin Islands, but is not typical of domestic travel i assume. What is likely to be optimal booking time for those dates to that destination from a non hub airport such as ROA? 7 wks ahead of 11? Thanks.



        The Caribbean is its own category, and weirdly enough, the lowest fares tend to be just a week or two before departure. I think the exception would be the big holidays, but in late February you should be clear of that. So if you can wait, it will probably pay off. Good luck. -Roger

Windsor says:

Hi Roger,

I’m planning to travel to Hong Kong from Toronto in early August of 2015, when do you think is the best time to purchase ticket? Does the 9-10 months out apply in this situation? Thanks for your advice!



    My best guess is that the 9 to 10 months thing would be cheapest for this flight, but from all the observations I’ve made, it won’t be much cheaper than about 3 months out. I just checked now for flights next August and they seem a bit expensive compared to dates in February and June that I checked. It could be because August is a busy travel month in general though. So it’s tough to say. My hunch is that fares won’t change much on that flight until next February or March, but if you are pretty sure of your dates then buying soon might not be a bad idea if you like the connections. It can be stressful to keep checking fares and then seeing them going up when you were hoping they’d go down. Good luck. -Roger

Michael says:

Hi Roger, I’ve been following your research for some time. And now I could really need your help as well. I’m planning a trip from Manila (MNL) Philippines to Hamburg (Ham) Germany. we are planning to travel on January 14th 2015. So no Holiday at all. Is it safe to say that prices still might drop 8 weeks before departure or will I find the cheapest tickets right now (11 weeks before departure)? Thank you very much. Best regards, Michael



    Sorry for the delayed response. All of my testing has shown that longer flights like the one you have in mind, tend to be at their cheapest about 3 or 4 months out so I think buying soon is probably wise. Evidently, the longer the flight, the earlier that most people book, so the remaining seats will typically go up in price.

    But, since it’s really an off-season flight, this one might stay at around the same price or even go down a bit in the coming weeks. It’s hard to say, but my guess is that buying soon is the best idea because it might go up and stay up. Best of luck. -Roger

E J Mc Nicholas says:

I just want to buy tickets to Ireland From TPA to DUB from late April return late October. 2 seniors for $1200.00 total. HOW?



    It’s rare to get good deals on roundtrip flights with longer than 2 months between outbound and inbound. You are probably better off buying a one-way to get there, and then shop for the return portion once you are there. -Roger

Charles Lacey says:

I am writing from the UK. I have to book 8 return flights to Myrtle Beach next October. The flights will be released soon and I have no doubt that they will be extortionate. Having 7 other colleagues relying on me, I need to keep prices as reasonable as possible. In practical terms there are only 2 realistic option – American to Raleigh Durham or US Airways to Myrtle Beach via Charlotte. Have you any thoughts on the best time to book? You would have thought that 8 fares paying a year in advance would secure a decent deal but I’m sure that isn’t true. Any thoughts would be appreciated.



    As you probably know, if you book on EasyJet or another discount airline, the fares start low and just keep going up as the seats are filled. But on the traditional airlines, they sort of take advantage of people who want to book really early because it’s clear that the traveler has something very specific in mind. Knowing that, they start with fairly high prices, and only with a few months to go do they typically lower fares to try to fill the rest of the seats.

    Also, October is a traditionally slow month for trans-Atlantic flights, so time is on your side there as well. Honestly, the fares are probably going to be lowest in early July through August for your travel dates. But they might not be THAT much lower and it can make people nervous to play the waiting game like that. One thing you can be sure of is that those flights will still be mostly empty if you wait until next summer to book, since very few people book this far in advance.

    Two more things…you might speak to a high-street travel agent and get a quote. With 8 tickets, they might have a way of getting a deal, and their commission could be worth it. And lastly, when you check fares online, you should probably check just for blocks of 2 or 4 tickets at a time. Strangely, if an airline has 6 seats left at £790, and the rest are £870, then requesting 8 seats will show a £870 fare for all of them. If you just look for 2 seats at a time, you’ll see the lowest fares available, even if perhaps not all 8 seats would be at that price.

    I hope this helps, and best of luck. -Roger

      Charles Lacey says:

      Hi Roger and thank you for your prompt response. You are so right – when you have reserved accommodation and 8 unrelated travellers are involved, the waiting game is quite stressful. Paying top price a year in advance with the additional luggage costs (we need 2 checked bags each because of golf clubs) really is galling but I am reassured that I can afford to leave it for a while. As I say, many thanks. Regards. Charles

sherry says:

We have planned a trip to Georgetown Exuma in January 2015. We have rented a privately owned house and booked our flights to get there. We are traveling from Seattle to Nassau, spending the night in Nassau and leaving early the next morning for Georgetown, Exuma. For our return flights, I have been looking at either booking straight from Georgetown (GGT) or from Georgetown to Nassau and Nassau to Seattle. My issue is the prices keep changing and I don’t know if I should wait any longer or just book at the prices I am seeing. We leave Jan. 8 and return Jan. 18. Any advice would be appreciated 🙂



    That sounds like a tricky one. As you might have read above, flights into the Caribbean tend to be at their lowest only 2 or 3 weeks out, which is surprising. On the other hand, you’ll be traveling pretty near the peak season, so the fares might stay high for those dates.

    Since you already have the house booked, I’d be tempted to lock in the flights very soon, especially if you happen to see them a bit lower one day than the day before. Waiting until the last few weeks can be stressful, especially as there is a chance that fares might not come down at all, and might keep rising. Also, it’s much easier to be flexible and wait for a deal if you can still go a day earlier or come home a day later, or that sort of thing. For you, it doesn’t sound like the gamble is worth it. Best of luck. -Roger

Marilyn says:

We’re planning a trip from UK Manchester to Australia and New Zealand in Sept/Oct 2015. As we intend to spend some time in both counties, we’d like flights that enable us to be as flexible as possible once we’ve arrived! We’re thinking of flying first to Melbourne then flying from Cairns to Adelaide and coming home from Christchurch.
Have you any recommendations about the best time to buy tickets? We would also need internal flights in Australia – but would be telling by motorhome n NZ between airports. All suggestions would be welcome!



    The UK to Australia flights will probably be cheapest around 3 or 4 months out, so starting around June of next year. But if I were you I’d start checking much sooner and also checking on fares for flights a month or two before when you want to go. That way you’ll know what the lowest fare you can expect will be, and you can book as soon as you see it for your own dates.

    As for the flights within Australia, they have several low-cost carriers competing on all major routes, and generally with those the sooner you book the cheaper it will be. However, you should still be able to get decent deals even a few days out if you are willing to fly in the early morning or the evening. For example, I just saw a US$43 flight from Melbourne to Adelaide leaving 2 days from now at 8:20am. You should be able to get most shorter flights for under US$100 each.

    Also, Qantas has an Air Pass, which allows you to book several internal flights at a low price:

    From Australia to New Zealand you might want to book that one further in advance or it might end up costing quite a bit at the last minute. It would probably be best to book a round-trip from, say, Sydney to Christchurch early on, and then you can be flexible within Australia up until that pre-booked flight to New Zealand.

    I’m sure it’ll be a great trip, and hopefully those currencies will still be weak a year from now. -Roger

Lisa Northey says:

I am looking to go to Iquitos, Peru on April 1. It is during the easter Holiday. When should I purchase fares? I read that buying fares eleven weeks before I leave is best. Since it is a holiday time, should I think of buying tickets earlier?

Please help



    I’m guessing that Easter is a pretty big deal in Peru, and if that’s the case it’s probably best to book soon. If it’s common for Peruvian diaspora to come home for that week, then it’s just like Christmas most other places in that fares rarely go down and usually go up.

    It would be easier for me to be confident with my advice if I knew your starting point, and return date. Still, chances are good that buying soon is wise. Good luck. -Roger

Joey says:

Your site has been very insightful; thank you for all your replies!
I am now ready to book our one-way trip to Iceland for the beginning of June, yet feel discouraged from seeing prices rise from low 300’s (3 weeks ago) to now $460. Considering how much advertising Iceland has been doing, do you think prices are still likely to drop? Would you recommend waiting another 3 months to book?
Thank you!



    Thanks for the kind words. At this point I think you’ll be best off waiting to buy those tickets, and checking fares regularly in the coming months. I can guarantee that those early-June flights aren’t filling up already, so it’s just a matter of the airlines trying to make more money off people who prefer to lock in trips 7 months in advance.

    My best guess is that the fares will drop again in the next month or two, although maybe not all the way down to the low 300s. If you check regularly and are prepared to buy when you see a drop, I think you’ll save money. Iceland is getting more popular, but there are more airlines flying there as well, so I think you can do better than US$460 one-way. Good luck, and you are going to love it there. I hope you are doing the Ring Road on your trip. -Roger

Janie says:

My son is going to sail the BVI’s for his honeymoon in April. Looking at flights from Newark to San Juan $362 on United, do you think it will go lower? I think his problem will be the flight from San Juan to Tortola. Right now as much as flight to San Juan, for a 20 minute flight. Air fares for these flights, when a good time to book.

thank you

Rian says:

Hi Roger,
What a great site! I’m planning a trip to Cartagena, Colombia from Washington DC in February. When is the best time to book? We heard prices may drop again after Christmas, but I’m nervous to wait!
Thanks so much!



    Thanks. This could be a tricky one because Cartagena is in South America but it could also be similar to the Caribbean when it comes to airfares. In the Caribbean you can usually get a good deal with only a few weeks to go, but for South America you generally want to book at least two or three months out. In this case, if you think the fares available now look okay, I’d probably book it. They might just keep going up from here, and February is part of high season. Best of luck. -Roger

Mo says:

Hello Roger,
My family is from the midwest – Iowa and they’re planning a trip to Thailand and Laos around Mid July to Mid August during the hot season. They missed the 9-10 month window, and they’re checking every week. If I’m understanding correctly, would the ideal time be to book tickets in March or April then? I have four family members planning to visit me and 2000+ USD seems very high right now. They’re aiming for 1300-1500 each. Do you think that’s possible?



    Yes, I think it’s possible, or probable, that fares will go down again in the coming months. There’s no way those flights are actually close to being sold out, so it’s just a matter of when the airline is ready to cut fares to fill up as many seats as possible. Check the fares every week, and at some point they will fall again. You’ve got plenty of time on this one, and there is no way they will keep going higher and higher from here.

    Also, you should check fares to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as well. You can get cheaply from either of those airports to most places in Thailand on Air Asia. Good luck. -Roger

Patricia says:

Hi Roger,

I’m starting to plan my holidays for next year. We want to go from London to New Zealand (through Sydney one way) and want to book BA in premium economy. We would like to travel just after Christmas and come back mid January.
Any idea when is the best time to book?
thank in advance for any avice



    The flights you have in mind will be quite popular, especially the one right after Christmas. Tickets go on sale about 11 months out, and if I were you I’d start checking fares right away. For flights like these, the first price might be near the best you’ll get. To check it, check the fares you want against fares for flights a week or two before or after. If they are all near the same price, and the price seems decent to you, it could be worth booking early. Best of luck. -Roger

Claudia says:

Hi, I planing round-trip from Lebanon to Europa with family. Can fly on summer and prefer Turkish airlines. When is the best time to buy tickets? Same 11 weeks rule?
Thank you very much



    This one is a bit outside of the areas I’ve researched in depth, but my best guess is that the 11-week mark should be near the sweet spot. Actually, it seems like lower fares are coming out a bit earlier than they have in the past, so I’d probably start getting serious about buying about 4 months out. And fortunately, Turkish Airlines always seems to be among the cheapest to get to anywhere in Europe, so I think you’ll find good fares with them. Good luck. -Roger

AR says:

Hi,I am looking for Dublin(Ireland) to Delhi(India) fare with etihad(as they have right connectivity from Abu Dhabi.
Travel dates End June 2015 and return around 25 June 2015.
I have no idea how and when they drop/increase price.
Could you advise please.



    With these longer flights to Asia, it seems that the sweet spot is often around the 3 to 4 months out mark. So if I were you, I’d track this fare once a week (or more) starting now, and be ready to buy once you see a price drop. You should be able to get similar flights and fares and schedules on Emirates through Dubai and on Qatar through Doha, unless you need to change in Abu Dhabi for some reason. And to be honest, I’ve taken all of them and Etihad (from Istanbul to Bangkok via Abu Dhabi) was my least favorite as far as comfort. Best of luck. -Roger

Aru says:

I am planning to go to Chennai, India in June 2nd week from Raleigh, NC and return in Aug 2nd week. I was looking to book but everything shows more than $ 1600. So can you give me some advice or tips?



    This is a tough one. Doing some checking, if you were able to take that same trip exactly 2 months earlier, it would be around US$1,000 on Etihad Airways. So I think there is a good chance that if you wait another month or two then fares will come down quite a bit. But it also might be higher due to the more popular June to August flying times. If I were you I’d wait at least a few weeks and see if fares drop. My guess is that they will, although it’s just a guess. Best of luck. -Roger

Len says:

Hi, So I am flying to Australia and Maldives end of May, when do you think is the right time to book? I want to wait but my friend wants to purchase now. Any advise?



    The end of May is the beginning of the low season in the Maldives (even though the weather barely changes) so I don’t think there is a rush to book. On the other hand, those international flights into Asia do tend to have their lowest fares quite early compared to other parts of the world.

    I just ran some tests and it looks like flights in late May are already a bit cheaper than those in late April. I think your friend might be onto something. If you can find flights with connections that you like that seem like a decent price, I think there’s a better chance that they will get more expensive rather than cheaper at this point. Check fares for flying in and out on a Wednesday of the same weeks to see what the lowest fares are, and if you itinerary is close to that, then buying soon seems wise. Best of luck. -Roger

Bob V. says:

Great article. I will be flying roundtrip from Portland Oregon to Las Vegas, and wondering if going at Spring Break time will negate the 3-7 week out rule for buying the cheapest tickets? Thanks so much!


    Bob V.

    Thanks. Yes, I do think that Spring Break in the US will have some effect on the timing of airfares, although not nearly as much as Easter, the summer holidays, and Thanksgiving do. Specifically, if you want to fly to a popular Spring Break destination like Las Vegas and you want to fly out on a Friday or Saturday and/or fly back on Sunday, I expect those flights to fill up long before flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before and after. In other words, if you really want to fly in and out on a weekend, I’d probably book soon if the fare seems decent. But if you don’t mind flying on other days, you might save money by waiting a while. Best of luck. -Roger

tracey r says:

hi Roger, Good article and thanks!. Looking to book tickets from dublin, ireland to new York for August 2015. Is it worth waiting abit before I book or should I book now. Looking at direct flights only eg with aer lingus. Its a popular route with daily flights but its also holiday season. What do you think?


    tracey r,

    As I’ve mentioned before, it seems that the lower prices are being found further and further from the travel dates lately, so I think buying soon might be wise. I just ran a test on that route and the fares in August seem pretty good right now (US$774 with 1 stop or US$917 nonstop). Since August is a peak month for flights, I can’t imagine the fares getting too much lower than that, and they will certainly be higher at some point as the dates approach. So if I were you, I’d check now and if I see convenient flights with good connections and a decent price, buy soon. The process of constantly checking fares and praying that they’ll drop and hoping that they won’t go up can be exhausting and stressful. Best of luck with this. -Roger

      tracey r says:

      thank you so much for quick reply and your sensible opinion! Yes think I will go ahead and book, watching flight prices can be stressful :)!! Paying abit extra and having peace of mind is worth it! Thank you

Aru says:

Thank you Roger for the quick response. I really appreciate your help!


Hi Roger,
We are planning a trip from Australia to New York, Vegas, San Fran in December 2015 for a white Christmas & to get married. Can you please advise the best time to book good priced airfares…probably premium economy? Many thanks, Bec



    Christmas is always a tricky time for airfares. If you want to fly on popular and convenient dates, especially on key weekends, it’s usually best to book as early as possible, which would mean now. But if you are more flexible and can travel midweek, or further from Christmas or New Year’s, you might be better off waiting a few months. If you do want to travel on popular dates I’d look now and if the fares don’t seem outrageous, go ahead and purchase. The airlines know that they’ll have no trouble filling those seats at some point during the year, so they don’t have any incentive to do sales or discounts.

    And best of luck on your trip and the wedding and all that. There’s a small chance you’ll get some snow in New York City, but you won’t get it in San Francisco or Las Vegas. -Roger

Judy says:

Hi Roger,
I am planning to travel to India in July and return in August.So travelling from Melbourne to India when do you think I should buy my tickets to avail the best ticket offers. Also I was planning to travel by Singapore airlines do you know when will be the appropriate time to buy my tickets.



    The data suggests that flights to Asia are cheaper when you buy them early. In other words, I think you are best off checking the fares now and buying soon if you see some connections that work for you. I just ran a couple of tests and found that the fares going in July were similar to those going in August, which means that fares for August probably won’t come down soon, if at all. From what I can see, the fares are pretty reasonable right now, so I don’t think you have much to gain by waiting and hoping that they somehow get lower. Best of luck. -Roger

Cayce says:

Hi Roger,

I’m planning a trip to Zurich from Nashville, TN on the week of May 6 – 16. Last Wednesday the flight was around $1,000 and then that afternoon went up to $1,500. I could kick myself for not booking it last week. Is there any advice you can offer about when to book he flight?! I have searched online for advice but there seems to be differing opinions. Please help!




    As of now I see flights for those dates on American Airlines starting at US$1,273, but they require two plane changes. The cheapest one-stop (on United) is US$1,396, so I see your dilemma. At this point I think you’ll be much better off waiting and continuing to check fares daily. I’m certain that those flights aren’t mostly booked at this point, so it’s just a matter of one airline ending a fare sale, and the others raising prices because now they can. Also, it seems extremely unlikely that those flights will just keep going up in price from here.

    So I think your best bet is to wait and check fares for at least a month, and you’ll probably see a lower fare at some point. When you do, buy it. If by late February you don’t see fares come down it’s probably best to buy the best one you see. Good luck. -Roger

Ela says:

Im traveling by the end of march this year,, but the prices today are still high.. do you think the price will go down when i book by the end of january or early of february? i really need to have a cheap one because im paying my parents ticket as well.. that would be 3 tickets.. were from abu dhabi traveling to the philippines..



    Unfortunately I think the odds are against you on those fares lowering at this point. That’s a long international flight and the trend in the last year or two is that fares on those are at their cheapest 4 to 6 months out. If you can buy soon, it’s probably a good idea. Best of luck. -Roger

Nan says:

We are planning to travel to Singapore with a stop over at Japan in July. There are 3 families going so about 10 of us. we have confirmed the status but not paid yet since Japan Airline has a sale on. should we wait till later as suggested?



    For longer international flights and international flights within Asia, the lowest fare tends to be earlier than in most of the rest of the world. So I don’t know what fare you have at the moment, but I think it might be close to the bottom now. If you like the flight times and the fare seems reasonable, it’s probably best to just buy it now. It’s possible that the fare will go down a little, but it might also go up in a month or two. Best of luck and let me know some more specifics if you are still unsure. -Roger

Micha C says:

Thank you for the interesting and very useful article. I was wondering, do you have any idea why travelling from Lebanon to Australia in August (low season in Australia) is more expensive than travelling from Australia to Lebanon in August (high season in Lebanon)? And is it possible to still be able to get good prices if we book only two months or less before the scheduled travel date? (as we can’t book before obtaining approval on the visa, and travel should be made by the beginning of August for the purpose of attending a specific event).



    I’m not really sure why flights can be very different prices depending on the starting point, but I do know that it’s normal. For example, flights to the US from Europe are usually cheaper than flights from the US to Europe, regardless of season.

    As long as you can book more than 6 weeks out you should be able to get a pretty decent deal, even if it’s not the lowest price offered all year. The recent research shows that fares go down about 5 months out and then start coming back up 2 or 3 months out, but they don’t start getting expensive until the last 2 or 3 weeks. Good luck on everything. -Roger

Marla says:

My family and I are looking to buy tickets from Denver to Puerto Rico over spring break (March 25/26 to April 4). A red eye is fine; however, we want to minimize our layover (2-4 hours) as we are traveling with a child. Tickets are now $546 on kayak. Do we buy now or wait?



    This is a tricky one. On one hand, Spring Break is one of those times of year when the airlines know that demand will be huge so they don’t need to offer deals. But on the other hand, the Caribbean often has its best airfares only 2 or 3 weeks out. So it will be a gamble either way, unfortunately.

    Just checking now, it looks like you could save close to US$200 per ticket if you did a longer layover. So my guess is that the premium flights are mostly booked at this point, and the less popular flights still have plenty of empty seats. I’d think that fares on the best ones will just keep going up, so if that’s important to you I think buying soon is wise. It’s a tough call though. Good luck. -Roger

Pam says:

I am flying from St Thomas to Boston the weekend of March 21/22nd of this year. I have yet to purchase tickets and I see that there are many sold out planes, or only expensive/first class rates available. Do you think that they will add more flights, or may drop those that are available to a lower price if I wait a few more weeks. I am getting nervous at 6 weeks out. I am not sure how close I should wait before I pull the trigger.



    Caribbean flights like this are always a bit of a gamble because the lowest fares tend to be only 2 or 3 weeks out, but during peak months like March and over a weekend, the fares might just stay high. One thing we know is that airlines cannot just add flights on short notice. But we also know that they keep fares artificially high for quite a while, and in the Caribbean they sometimes come down as the dates approach if there are enough seats left to sell.

    Based on running some tests on that route just now, I think I’d book soon if I were you. Specifically, if you want to fly out on a Friday and back on a Sunday or Monday (generally popular flight times), I think the chances are that fares will go up from here rather than down. Sorry I can’t be more sure of this, and good luck. -Roger

Pam says:

Thanks Roger. We already booked the red eye down the previous week and plan to leave on Saturday, or Sunday. Prefer Sunday but we shall see. This is the most expensive year I have seen for pricing. We usually book around Christmas when we see a price drop, however, it did not happen this year.


Hi, Roger,

I think it’s really wonderful that you take the time to respond to all of these comments, and I hope you’ll respond to mine!

I read your information about booking international flights about 11 weeks out (based on the cheaperair data), but when I continued my google search on the topic, I found this website (from cheaperair) that seems to contradict that information.

I certainly may be misreading, but I’m concerned. I will be traveling to Strasbourg, FR from an international airport in the US, and we’ll be staying for a week (leaving and returning on a weekday). I haven’t seen much fluctuation in the prices recently, and it’s hovering around $1800 per roundtrip ticket.

I’m considering waiting until 11 weeks before the trip, but I am concerned that the tickets may go up even higher in price, and I don’t want to blow our budget! I’d love for them to go down in price, of course, but I just don’t know what the likelihood is.

Any chance you have advice for us?



    Ms Mintly,

    There are many factors that determine airfares, and the algorithms that determine how much each airline will charge on any given day are constantly changing. As of early 2015, the newest trend is that fares are cheaper up to 6 months in advance, and 11 weeks is probably no longer the sweet spot for most trips.

    But again, it depends on what time of year you want to travel and a few other things. Since you haven’t mentioned when you want to fly, it’s hard to give you advice, but I’d say that buying early is probably a better idea than waiting and hoping for a sudden drop. Best of luck. -Roger


      Hi, Roger,

      Thank you for your response! I’m so sorry I didn’t mention the time of year – we are planning to fly on July 7th and return the 15th. I’d love to know what if your recommendation is at all different, given that information. Thank you!!!

Sadie says:

Hi Roger,
My family is traveling to Costa Rica from Washington, D.C., the first week in August, and I just keep reading conflicting reports on when to buy tickets from National airport to Liberia airport. If I booked now, the best flights seem to run about $800, but in my experience, that seems a bit high, especially since August is during the rainy season. Any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated!




    Yes, US$800 does seem very high for that. Fortunately, I think it’s very likely that prices will come down in the coming months. The studies lately have shown that fares are getting cheaper farther out (when bought earlier) than in recent years, but they also continue to show that flights into the Caribbean are still cheap only 2 or 3 weeks out. Liberia is obviously on the Pacific coast, but still I believe Mexico and Central America work just like the Caribbean in that they can make a lot of money with last-minute travelers by keeping fares low, so they do.

    At the moment I’m based in Miami and lately I’ve been looking at flights to Jamaica and that area, and even in high season like this, they are still very cheap only 2 weeks out.

    The tricky thing for you is that it’s hard to be confident that any given fare is going to come down just a few weeks before it leaves. So if you wait that long you’ll be white-knuckling it all the way, and it might not work. Still, August is the rainy season down there and there is no way those flights you are looking at are even close to being full, so I think there’s an excellent chance that fares will come down from here. If it were me I’d definitely wait, and check at least once a week. Hopefully you’ll see something closer to US$500 or so at some point, and when you see it, jump on it. I’d bet that even if you waited until 10 days out, you could still get something around US$800, so I don’t think there is much risk in waiting at all. Best of luck. -Roger

sam says:

Hi Roger,
I am looking to go to Zanzibar,Tanzania this summer around June-July. When is the best time to buy the ticket? I’ve looked around now and the price I got was $1800. Would like something a little more reasonable. Thanks.



    I’ll be happy to help you try to figure this out, but first I’d need to know your departure city. With that I can run some tests and see what the trends look like. -Roger

Briana says:

Hi Roger,

I am planning a trip this year to Barcelona June 18th-28th. I will be leaving from LAX. Right now I see flights in the$1200 range. Should I book now or wait. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.




    As of two years ago I would have recommended waiting, but the recent studies are showing that fares between the US and Europe are lowest as far as 6 months in advance. Since you’ll be going at the beginning of the high season, I think the chances of the fares going up from here are better than the chances of them going down. And to be honest, US$1,200 sounds pretty decent from LAX to Barcelona in June, so I’d buy soon if I were you. A month from now the same flight might be US$1,150 or it might be US$1,400. Best of luck with this and have a great trip. -Roger

erika diaz says:

Flying to the Philippines Mid December. When is the best time to book flight? Thanks!



    My full answer would depend on your starting point, but generally speaking I’d say that if you are flying to the Philippines from a long distance that you’ll want to be ready to buy that ticket about 6 months in advance. If you see a good fare before then, it’s probably worth buying. In other words, (assuming you are flying from a long distance) there probably won’t be a window shortly before the flight where cheap tickets are offered. Best of luck. -Roger

Joe says:

Any more details on Middle East destinations, namely from LAX to Dubai or Abu Dhabi? Looking to get there in July for about three weeks (HOT and also the end of Ramadan), and a one stop is $1,200-1,500, non stop is $1,800-$2,000. Surprisingly, the same flights just two months from now–April/May–are as low as $1,100 for the non stop! I was thinking summer Middle East flights would be cheaper, but is there something about summer vs other seasons (e.g., everyone is getting out of there)? Leaning toward waiting and watching fares for now.



    This is a tricky situation and if I were you I think I’d keep checking and wait for now. We recently did a series of airfare tests from the US to Asia, and all of the flights were quite a bit more expensive in summer than in spring or autumn, in spite of the fact that the weather in most destinations is much better in spring and autumn. In other words, I think you are right that summer airfares are just higher in general.

    Speaking of that, most of the cheaper flights from Europe to Asia will change planes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Qatar, so I think it’s more that those flights are going to be filled with people transferring rather than staying there in the summer heat.

    Based on what you have said, I’d think that the chances of the fares continuing to go up and up from here is slim. You didn’t mention your starting point but I assume it’s in the US or Canada based on the prices you mention. There are hundreds of flights into and out of those cities every day, and I can’t imagine them getting much more expensive than that, even at the last minute. So in my estimation, there is a decent chance that fares will drop at least a bit at some point in the coming weeks or months, and it’s hard to imagine ALL of those flights going up and staying more expensive. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Sean says:

Hi Roger!

I’m planning on going on a trip to the grand Bahamas 6/30 – 7/5 towards the 4th of July.
When do you think will be the best time to purchase the package deal (hotel+flight)? Or is it better to purchase hotel and flight separate? And recommendations on where to purchase the package deal?

Thanks a lot for your help.



    It always helps to know your starting point when asking about airfare trends, but since you mention the 4th of July I’ll assume you are starting in the US. The weird thing about flights into the Caribbean (including the Bahamas) is that they are consistently cheapest only 2 or 3 weeks out. However, most of the more desirable resorts and hotels will be full if you wait that long, so you might get a slightly cheaper flight and then a crappy hotel deal.

    I’ve researched this a lot and it seems clear that the best flight+hotel deals are available at least a couple months out, if not a bit longer. And considering you are thinking about going over a holiday week, I’d try to book fairly soon.

    As for where to book, it seems like the main companies offering these packages are quite competitive. Some offer the cheapest prices but no customer service or help at all. Others charge a bit more and are much more helpful. It’s hard to say which is the better strategy.

    Have a look at our page on cheapest Caribbean islands and you’ll see some links and recommendations. And again, if you see a package at a well-rated resort at a price that seems reasonable, I’d buy it soon. If you wait you might get slightly cheaper flights but a much smaller choice of hotels, and probably a worse deal overall. Best of luck. -Roger

Shirlene says:

When’s the best time to buy a flight from SFO to CUN. I’m planning to travel 9/5/15-9/10/15. Do you know what’s the average price for a round trip?



    As you’ve seen, the fares right now are a bit over US$500 round-trip, which seems a bit high to me, but I don’t know the historical average. According to most of the studies, flights into the Caribbean (Cancun is part of the Caribbean market) are usually cheapest only 2 to 3 weeks out. You might get it for closer to US$400 round-trip, but I doubt it would ever get much lower. It’s just not a popular route so there isn’t much competition.

    So you might be able to save up to $100 or so if you wait until August, but on the other hand, this is over Labor Day weekend and that probably makes it a bit more popular than normal so fares might not come down much at all. The other part of this is it can be stressful to keep checking a fare for months, hoping it will come down a bit. The fare probably will get at least a bit lower, but it’s hard to say if that will be worth all the possible trouble. Best of luck. -Roger

Jay says:

Hi Roger! So, Im looking to book flights from SFO to Bahamas for mid-June. Would you suggest booking now? or wait? Flights using two different airlines is $485 now. Thank you.



    I don’t normally do this, but since I’ve gotten nearly identical questions back to back, I’ll refer you to my reply to the comment of Shirlene, just above this one. In your case it’s not over a holiday weekend, but still, I don’t think it will go much lower than $485 so it may not be worth waiting and hoping. To be honest, $485 is cheaper than I would expect. I’m in Miami at the moment, and a flight from here to Nassau starts at about $250 round-trip, even though it’s a short flight. Best of luck. -Roger

ibbuarif says:

I need to book tickets to India in July 11 2015 and return on August 22nd 2015.
I see on Kayak the best fair is via cathaypacific for 1325 (averaged out for 3 adults and 1 kid).

Shall I wait for April going by your 11 weeks logic ?

thanks for ur reply in advance…



    It helps me to know your starting point if you’d like advice, but considering how much the fare you mention is, I’ll assume it’s from a great distance. The most recent studies seem to show that fares for longer flights are cheaper earlier this year and last year. So if I were you I’d think about booking that ticket fairly soon. All flights during the summer months seem to be expensive, so I doubt that fare will go down much, if at all, between now and then. Best of luck. -Roger

Zee says:

When would be the best time to book travel from Ft Lauderdale/ Miami area to / Gran Canaria / Tenerife from December 22 2015 through January 7 2016. I am looking now and it looks like tickets are at $1200-1900 per person. I am really hoping that the fares would go down since my two children will be traveling with me also . I am open to travel from US to anywhere in Europe and catch a ryanair,easyjet,etc..connection.

Thank You in Advance,
Zebbra Stewart



    This is a tough one because you are obviously going over the Christmas holidays, and generally those flights just keep getting more expensive as the dates approach. On the other hand, it’s still more than 9 months out, so there is a chance that the fares will bounce around a bit. My best guess is that there is a small chance that the fare will go down a bit in the coming months, but a better chance that it will stay about the same and maybe start going up a bit. If those Christmas dates are fixed on your end, I think you might want to buy soon. The Canary Islands are very popular that time of year, so these are peak-season dates. Best of luck. -Roger

Cathy Foley says:

Am hoping to travel from Ireland to Melbourne for Christmas and New Year 2015. Was always of the opinion that the earlier you booked tickets the cheaper they might be. However from reading your advices above that may not be the case. Do you have any advice for me? Should I book them now costing me around €2,800 or hang on a while? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Kind regards.



    For better or worse, I think you are better off buying those tickets soon. It should be included in the article above that the rules for holiday flights are different in that they tend to start fairly high and just continue to go up from there. Especially if you have pretty fixed travel dates around the big holidays, I think you have more to gain than lose by buying soon. Best of luck. -Roger

evan says:

hi, so im looking to book a flight for the middle of june and i am flying from los angeles to Vancouver, BC round trip. when should i start booking a flight for the cheapest price? also i saw some deals for my flight this past monday but now they are gone. will those deals re appear next monday? and if so does this happen each week till they are sold?
thanks for the help



    I’m seeing round-trip fares on Air Canada non-stops for US$194 total, which seems quite cheap to me. My flights were both on Wednesdays in mid June, so if you are coming and going on weekends you’ll be paying more. It’s hard to say for sure, but my best guess is that those fares you are watching will probably dip again in the coming weeks or even months. BUT, if you really need to fly out on a Friday and back on a Sunday (or other very popular flight times) you might not see fare drops on those flights.

    In other words, if you can be a bit flexible, I think you can do well by waiting. But if you want to fly on very specific and popular flights, you might want to buy soon. Best of luck. -Roger

Rebekah S. says:

Anchorage to Syracuse- My husband and I are going on an Alaskan cruise the end of August into September. Disembarkation is Sept 4th. We are thinking we will stay one night and fly home to Syracuse, New York on saturday, Sept 5th from Anchorage, AK. I see the flights climbing in price as the day ticks by and I’m getting nervous that they will not stop. Do you think that there will be any reprive in the price or should we book now? (Time choices not that great either) Thank you!



    Your trip will be at the end of the Alaska cruise season, and your trip home will be in the middle of Labor Day weekend, so neither of those should be unusually popular. One thing I can assure you is that those flights you are checking aren’t close to being full right now, so it’s probably just a matter of them selling seats a little faster than expected, so the algorithm bumps up the price on the remaining seats.

    In your case I think chances are good that the fares will drop again at some point in the next one to three months. And it seems unlikely that they’ll just keep going up and up and up from here, so I think waiting and checking is probably worthwhile. The only complicated part is that it could cause you some anxiety by waiting and watching and hoping, especially if you’ve already booked the cruise. So this is a tough call and it will depend on if you feel comfortable gambling a bit by waiting. It’s hard for me to predict more specifically without seeing the fares you are looking at, but I would guess that the fares will come down again before they go up even more. Best of luck. -Roger

Elysse says:

Hi Roger!
I am looking at booking a flight from SFO to Dublin, Ireland Feb 2-10th of 2016. Fares I have found roundtrip for 2 people are at about $1755 right now (leaving on a Tues and coming back Weds). Should I go ahead and book that or is it better to wait? Is that cheap would you say?



    That actually does sound like a pretty decent fare from San Francisco to Dublin. It might go down a bit more in the next 5 or 6 months, but even if it does, it won’t be by too much. So if you are confident that those are the travel dates you want, I think it could be wise to just go ahead and book. I think it’s important to take into account the alternative, which is to check the fares every week and pray that the next move is down rather than up. That can be stressful and a pain in the ass.

    It looks like you could go for around US$1,522 for two people if you are willing to change in Istanbul after a long layover. But as long as you don’t want to do that, and I don’t blame you, then your fare seems pretty good. Have a great trip. -Roger

Dina says:

Hi Roger – I am planning a trip to Paris from SFO mid November. Everything I’ve read is that this is a super quiet time to go to Paris. Does the “slow” season, so to speak, effect ticket prices and does the 11 weeks out guideline work for Paris? Thx!



    Mid November is definitely one of the lower season months for flights from the US to Paris, although not as low as mid January through March. So one thing we are sure of is that those seats are still mostly empty right now, regardless of whether the fare is going up or down. The tricky thing is that the lowest fares have been coming earlier in the last year or two. It seems that fares start a bit high, and then come down at around the 6-months out mark, and then slowly start going up from there, but very slowly.

    If I were you I’d start checking fares now, and also check for similar dates in October. The November fare should be lower than mid October dates. If the fares (coming and going on similar days of the week) are the same, or lower in October, then you should wait. But once the November fares are lower than the October fare, you should think about buying soon. If you wait until July or August to buy, the fare will probably have gone up by a little by then, but hopefully not by too much. Either way, you should get a pretty decent fare in November with this much time to plan. Best of luck. -Roger

Tracey says:

Hi Roger, Great info!!…..I am looking to book tickets to Lima Peru for Dec 2015 , leaving New Zealand Dec 21/ Returning Feb 2nd 2016. Im looking for 3 adult ticket + 1 Child in economy, we want to go via Argentina/ Chile. the current price is $2450ish, I see the prices have gone down slowly these days. What month do you recommend I buy my tickets?..4 months out?…or???……Many Thanks in advance…:)



    Thanks. Hmmm…considering that you want to travel just before Christmas like that, I think you should consider buying the tickets as soon as possible. And if prices have fallen a bit lately, that’s even better. The most recent trend is that longer flights like this have been having their lowest prices around 6 months out and sometimes longer. With the Christmas departure date, I think the chances of the fare starting to go up soon is higher than of it continuing to go down. Best of luck. -Roger

      Tracey says:

      Hi again Roger well I posted a question to you on April 5th, which you answered, with thanks.
      I took your advice and kept watching the prices for going to South America at Xmas. After reading travel forums I realised I should only book directly with the airlines, and not with 3rd party websites,as they cant be trusted. There are only two options in NZ at the moment going to SA and one airline “Lan Chile” is very,very expensive so didnt bother with them ($1000 more per ticket).So I booked last week with Air NZ after seeing they only had a couple of days to choose to fly out on the week before Xmas, that day the price had dropped a bit, so I though I should bite the bullet and make the purchase. Im glad I did because now the only avail flight to get there now with them is one day in the week and its now $250!! increased in price or you can fly on Xmas day for the price I paid. Or the only other choice is to buy a more expensive class ticket.It really is worth it to buy a bit early for Xmas flights,glad I did. This airline is the cheapest so I didnt think they would be reducing their prices much more,they have no reason to as they are already the cheapest, so they have the monopoly already.
      I worked out if I paid the airline via internet banking,I also by passed $140 worth of booking and CC fees, which was worth the read,and saving more money.Just thought Id share my experience in booking.



        It sounds like you got a bit lucky with all of that, which is great. Thanks for sharing the story. Finding good Christmas airfare can be a challenge. -Roger

matthew says:

hi rogers,
im going to the Philippines on nov 14th 2015 and return jan 9th 2016. when is the best time to buy the ticket…. u said 11 weeks out, that would be last week of august right? if it true, Tuesday of last week of august best time? im going for round trip direct flight Philippine airline. thank you for listening and looking forward to hear from you soon.




    The more recent tests have shown that prices are lowest even further out than 11 weeks for longer international flights like that. You don’t say your starting country or city, but I assume it’s not within Southeast Asia. If that’s the case, I think I’d start tracking fares now, and if you see them go down in the coming months, be ready to buy. I really doubt they’ll start climbing soon, so you have at least a couple of months to check and look for a deal. Best of luck. -Roger

color says:

If I want to fly to Israel in August which is peak season am I best off buying tickets now or waiting another few weeks?



    Especially since you want to go in peak season, I’d look into buying very soon. The most recent tests are showing that fares are cheapest close to 6 months out for longer flights. You don’t mention your starting country, but I assume it’s not close to Israel. If that’s the case, I think fares are more likely to go up slowly at this point rather than drop again. Best of luck. -Roger

Michelle says:

What a fantastic page…………thank so much Roger Wade
I know I want to fly from Australia to London in May and return the end of July.
I want to book a tour of Europe while I am over there so I would need to book my International flights first so I can then book the tour. I am fairly sure that September would be the earliest I could book………… this correct?



    Thanks. Yes, airlines only sell tickets for flights starting about 11 months in advance in most cases. I think it’s mostly so no one buys a ticket for the wrong year.

    In the case of your trip, you might get a good deal on 2 one-way flights rather than one round-trip so it’s worth comparing those on test dates just to see. If so, you could buy the May, 2016 flight starting in June. The flights for this will probably be cheapest about 6 months out, so there is nothing to be gained by buying almost a year early. Also, any organized tours of Europe will have plenty of available spots even 2 or 3 months out, so you don’t need to book that too far in advance either. Best of luck and have a great trip. -Roger

nadia says:

I’m planning to fly from Singapore to London, Oct 17 to Oct 31. When is the best time to book my tickets?



    If your dates are fixed, it means that you are going on a long international flight from a Saturday to a Saturday. In that case I think I’d be ready to book very soon on those flights because those Saturday flights will tend to fill up long before Tuesday or Wednesday flights in the same week. In other words, if your dates are somewhat flexible you can probably wait for as long as 2 or 3 months, and you might find that fares have dropped on some midweek flight at some point. But if you really prefer to fly both directions on a Saturday (or Sunday), then you are less likely to see fares drop in the coming months.

    The most recent 2015 studies have shown that longer international flights are showing their cheapest fares closer to the 6 months out mark rather than 3 months like before. The good news is that those studies also show that fares don’t start climbing rapidly until maybe 6 weeks out, so booking soon isn’t an emergency. Best of luck with this. -Roger

jenny says:

Hi Roger,

We are planing a trip to China Beijing during the Chrstmas time 2015. Should we start looking for the tickets now?

Thanks in advance for your advise.



    Yes, I think you should think about booking your flights soon, especially if you prefer to travel on the convenient days (weekends) around the Christmas holidays. The airlines know they can sell out all of those planes so they don’t have any incentive to cut fares to fill them up like they do for non-holiday periods. Best of luck. -Roger

Matt says:

wow – thanks for answering all those questions!

For Boston to San Juan, Puerto Rico, next February 2016, Sat to Sat . . . same pattern? I noticed if I book now it’s about $450 but if I bought for only 6 weeks from now it’s $360 RT. Does this hold true in winter?



    This is an interesting one. Flights into the Caribbean are famously cheapest only 2 or 3 weeks out, and I’ve confirmed that from many recent tests while checking fares from my current location in Miami. But, a Saturday to Saturday holiday in February is nearly “peak season” conditions in the Caribbean. I think if I were you I’d buy soon and just get it over with. In late April, we are starting into the low season in the Caribbean, so flights are cheaper in general. February, as you know, is high season.

    So long story short, you could wait and wait and there is a chance that the fares will go a bit lower, but for weekend flights in February, I would not be surprised if they just stayed high and went higher from there. And to be honest, $450 RT for Boston to San Juan sounds pretty good to me for high season. Good luck. -Roger

Michelle says:

I am trying to get a ticket asap from OH to NY in July. How long before the price goes up?



    If you really want to go on specific dates, and especially on weekends, then I’d buy very soon. If you are flexible and can go on a Tuesday or Wednesday then you might see fares drop a bit in May. But generally speaking, July is a very busy month to fly, so fares won’t go down much and they might just keep going up. Best of luck. -Roger

Kim says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you for this helpful post! I’m trying to book a ticket from NYC to Paris (for the first 2 weeks of June) and had used AA’s hold system to compare/rebook the fare. Of course, the one time I missed it was yesterday and the price jumped $300. I see that it’s matching AF/Delta’s pricing to within $5 – should I bite the bullet and book now or wait and see if it decreases over the next few days (hoping that it was auto matching Delta and will come down come Mon/Tues)? Thanks!



    If you are trying to book a flight from NYC to Paris leaving about a month from now, I would not wait long. The strategy of waiting until Tuesday to see if the fare drops again should be okay, especially if you are a bit flexible and might be able to change to a different flight if you had to. But after these next couple of days goes by, you run the risk of all of the flights going up in price and staying up. Best of luck and I hope this works for you. -Roger

Peter J. says:

Hi Roger,

My partner and I are planning a vacation to London between 8/13/15 to 9/6/15. We’re going to be leaving from Boston. We’ve constantly been checking flights weekly. As of now the price ranges from $1100-1200+ with one stop layover and $1200-1300+ direct flight. Earlier in January the cheapest flights we saw was around $850. At that time we weren’t ready to purchase just yet. Do you think the flights would become cheaper within 2 months before departure? Or is it best just to get it now before price raises? Thank you in advance!

-Peter J.


    Peter J.,

    At other times of the year I’d say there was a decent chance that the fare might drop again, but August is obviously one of the busiest months for flights and it’s especially busy for Europe. My best guess is that the fares will probably just go up from here on out for those dates. The lower prices are coming earlier in the cycle these days, at least on longer flights like this, and since it’s high season, the airlines know they’ll sell the seats so they don’t have to discount them. If you were going in November, I’d say you might see another price drop coming, although that’s a bit of a gamble as well. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Maureen LaNoce says:

Roger, does it matter if you are using credit card miles in regards to when flight prices usually drop? Thanks!



    If you are referring to the system where you can use credit card miles to buy any ticket, in place of cash, then they work on the same timing as cash. The other system where flights are only available in small numbers for people with enough miles, that is totally different and more or less the opposite of the cash system. Best of luck and let me know if you have a more specific question I might help with. -Roger

Grace says:

Hi Roger! So happy to find this page. I’m planning on doing a one-way flight from the Los Angeles to AKL mid September, would it be best to wait until the 3 month mark or go ahead and buy now? Also, I’m planning on flying from New Zealand to Fiji, which airlines would be best for that, as well as returning from NADI to LA? And when should I purchase those tickets? Thanks so much in advance!



    Generally speaking, the trend has been that longer international flights, such as Los Angeles to Auckland, have had their lowest fares closer to the 6-month mark than the 11-week mark like before. It’s hard for me to confidently give you advice without knowing the travel dates and how flexible you might be, but most likely you’ll be best off buying very soon. For long distances like this the airlines know that most people prefer to plan way ahead of time rather than looking for last-minute deals, so they won’t sell many more tickets if they cut the price as the flight draws near.

    Also, it can be stressful to keep waiting for fares to drop each week. With a route like this you might wait and get lucky by saving, say, US$100, but it probably won’t be more than that and it is probably more likely that the fare starts heading up to stay.

    As for which airline to take, it looks like your nonstop choices are Air New Zealand and Fiji Airways. I’ve flown Air New Zealand and was pleased with them, but it looks like Fiji Airways flies planes that are slightly more comfortable and they also have a very good reputation. I think you’d be fine on either one, so choose based on flight times and fare offered. From Fiji to Los Angeles it looks like the only nonstop is on Fiji Airways (codeshare with American Airlines), and the fares I’m seeing are pretty good. I think I’d probably be ready to buy that ticket fairly soon as well, as long as it looks convenient and affordable to you. One problem with something like that is that it looks like there is exactly one nonstop flight per day from Nadi to LAX, and any other flight would require 2 stops and be much more expensive. In that case, it can be risky to wait to book a flight when there is only one good choice. You might check tomorrow and it has gone up by US$300.

    Lastly, you should also check the Fiji Airways website and maybe even call them. You might be able to get a fairly cheap flight from Auckland to LAX with a long stopover in Fiji. Air Tahiti Nui has offered those stopovers for years and they can be a very good deal. Best of luck. -Roger

Grace says:

Wow, thank you for your very thorough and thoughtful response Roger – I truly appreciate it! thank you!!

Irma Rutkowski says:

i am planning a trip to Puerto Rico departing July 22 to August 4.for 3 adults. Prices right now average 450+. When should I really start looking to cheaper tickets



    It would help to know your starting airport so I could run some tests. Generally speaking, the discounted airfares into the Caribbean only become available about 2 or 3 weeks out, so that would be early July for you. One problem is that it’s always a bit of a gamble with this sort of thing. They will cut fares if they have quite a few empty seats on those flights, but if they flights are filling up already then the fare will stay the same or go up. And July and August are obviously high season months for air travel in general, so it’s hard to be confident that prices will drop. At least those months are part of the low season in the Caribbean, so you could get lucky. It’s also good that you are planning on flying midweek, as those flights are more likely to be less full that the weekend flights.

    So long story short, it’s a mixed bag and it would mean rolling the dice if you were to wait. Good luck on this. -Roger

Anna says:

Hi, Im planning for a trip from Singapore to Zurich somewhere around mid dec to 3rd Jan. The price for 2 adults + 1 infant now is about $3k. Should I wait till 11weeks before departure? Will the price drop considering its the holiday season?



    If I were you I’d plan on buying those tickets fairly soon. Longer flights like this have become cheaper earlier in the cycle lately, so I’d expect the lowest fares about 6 months out. However, since this is also in the heart of the popular holiday travel season, the fares were probably lowest a few months ago. The thing is that the airlines reduce fares a few months out when they see that they have too many empty seats on certain flights, as lowering the fare is a good way of filling the planes up. But for holiday periods like this, the airlines know they can fill up every seat without discounting, so they rarely lower fares at all. The fare you found doesn’t sound too bad, considering the holiday dates, so I’d buy soon. Best of luck. -Roger

Ashley says:

I’m planning a trip to Jamaica (Runaway Bay) for either mid Nov or first of Dec 2015 and right now an all inclusive trip is running about $1850 per person for a 7 day all adults resort (jewel paradise) was wondering if the prices will go down by then or will they just stay the same or even go up. In your opinion when should i start to book this trip. Thanks in advance.



    If you were just shopping for airfare then it’s likely that the fare would be lowest only 2 or 3 weeks from departure. But with a resort bundle like this, they are offering low prices to try to fill the place up as early as possible. In my experience, you can sometimes get great last-minute package deals in the Caribbean, but it may not be for any of your top-choice resorts. On the other hand, your trip will be in low season in the Caribbean so you might get lucky.

    Long story short, the most popular resorts are likely to be sold out or have high prices if you wait to book, but if you are open to whichever resort is offering the best deal then you can probably get a very good price even in November. Best of luck with it. -Roger

Dy says:

Hi Roger,
My family and I are planning to have a holiday next month July 20-Aug 20. London-Manila(Asia)do you think that I shoud book 5 weeks before we fly? Please advise.Thanks



    For longer flights like that, the trend is that the lowest fares are showing up earlier. I’d buy that one as soon as possible. Best of luck. -Roger

Sarah says:

I’m looking to fly from San Francisco to southern India (Kochi) in early January with onward flights to Nepal (in April) and then Bali (in May). I found a flight for $1315 US dollars for all 3 flights (and has stayed steady at this price for a couple weeks now). This seems like a great price to me, but I’ve never flown to Asia and I’ve just starting tracking flights. I don’t want to buy it now if it’s going to drop later in the year. What are your thoughts? Thank you!



    That actually does sound like a pretty good deal, although one-way flights from the US to Asia tend to be cheaper than most people expect. You may be happy to learn that one-way flights to Asia tend to be half the price of round-trip flights, which isn’t true going to Europe or many other places.

    So what I’d do is look at each of these segments individually. For example, I see that SFO to Kochi is starting at US$677 one-way (on Singapore Airlines, which is great) for a flight in October. Early January is the busiest month in southern India, so anything under around US$800 will be a pretty good deal. You might also check the fares flying into Mumbai or New Delhi and then a connecting flight on an Indian airline to Kochi. That might be a bit cheaper, although a bit more of a hassle.

    From Kochi to Kathmandu I’m seeing fares of US$150 one-way on Air India (the best Indian airline) with a stop in New Delhi. That’s about as low as that one will get, but if you waited and booked that flight while you are actually in India next year I doubt it will be much more expensive. If your plans might be a bit flexible, it could be better to wait. For example, you might take a train from Kochi to Goa and then to Mumbai for a visit, and then you could get an even cheaper ticket from Mumbai to Kathmandu. But if your plans are pretty solid, anything around US$150 is a very good deal.

    From Kathmandu to Bali I’m seeing fares around US$350 in that month, which is a pretty good deal as well. I see a couple of smaller airlines with the best fares, but also Air Asia for just a bit more. Air Asia is one of my favorite airlines in the world for their combination of good prices and good service. Again, if your schedule might be flexible, you probably won’t pay too much more if you waited to book that segment. There are many airlines that can get you from Kathmandu to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur (or Singapore for that matter), and after that it’s a cheap Air Asia flight to Bali.

    So adding all of those up, I’d say that US$1,315 is a good deal if you like the flight times and connections. You’ll probably want to book that flight to Kochi fairly soon (within a few months) but you can wait longer on the other ones and the fares probably won’t change much. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Nick says:

Hi Roger —

Thanks for all of the tips above. Very helpful.

My girlfriend and I are looking to head to Europe this fall (September). We finally decided on a rough itinerary and it seems like we should book flights earlier rather than later… it looks like we’re actually in your international flight sweet spot of 81 days this Thursday.

We’re looking to do a stopover flight from Seattle to Iceland, then onto Glasgow. We’ll make our way around to Copenhagen and fly home from there. Prices right now are between $1700-1800/ea. for a round trip.

I’m not a super experienced traveller, but my partner is and she says that seems like too much.
What is your experience? Should we give it some more time? Adopt a different flight strategy, or is this actually reasonable and should we consider locking these prices down before they get even higher?

– Nick



    At first glance I think your partner might be right about that fare. It’s not outrageous for 3 one-way flights on those routes, but I think you can do better. And however you do it, I’d buy pretty soon for the best fares.

    Checking now, I’m seeing that flight from Seattle to Reykjavik for US$505 per person (I’ve done that flight myself not long ago) on Iceland Air on September 16 as an example. Iceland Air will probably keep fares at about that level for a month or two, and I doubt they’ll lower it from here.

    The next leg could be a bit tricky because there are no nonstop flights from Reykjavik to Glasgow, or even to Edinburgh which is a larger airport only a short distance away. It looks like you’d have to book on SAS for about US$200 and change planes in Stockholm after a long layover. Instead you might take a nonstop on Iceland Air from Reykjavik to Manchester for US$136 and then a train from the Manchester Airport to Glasgow Central in 3.5 hours for about US$40. It’s only a bit cheaper but it would be faster and far more interesting.

    From Copenhagen to Seattle you could do a one-way on Iceland Air with a short change in Reykjavik for around US$530. That combination would only cost around US$1,200 per person, with efficient connections on good airlines. You might have to play around with the dates a bit to get those prices, but I’m seeing them available for your time frame right now. And again, the chances of the fares going up from here are far greater than the chances of them going down soon, so I’d book in the coming week or so if you can.

    I’ve done all of these trips myself and I love trying to figure out the best way to get around, so feel free to follow up if you have more questions about it. Have a great trip. -Roger

Julia says:

Hi Roger,
Thanks for al, your great advice.
My 8 year old child and I are flying to Germany (Seattle-Frankfurt) in October (our departure dates are pretty open) and need to return the first week of January.
Thus far I found out that buying two sets of one way tickets seem cheaper.
The best deal I found in October is about $ 890 for both of us one way with Icelandair.
I’m a bit worried though since we only have a 40 minute layover in Reykjavik.
Condor would be around 1100 one way for both of us via nonstop flight.
I can’t really afford to buy a round trip ticket right now (have to wait for my next student loan in October).
So here’s my questions:
1: Do you think the one way tickets will be even cheaper for our October departure than the prices mentioned above or should I buy now.
2: Would you be worried about a 40 min layover not being enough time ? (even though the airport is supposedly really small and manageable).
3: Since I have to wait until October to buy the return tickets, will that be enough time to get a good price (not more than 1200 combined)?

Sorry for all the questions but I am pretty stressed out since finances are an issue and I don’t want to make a mistake by not booking now.
I’ve never flew with a “bargain” airline but only Lufthansa thus far and am a bit scared 🙂
Thank so much,



    The fares on IcelandAir tend to hold pretty steady until the flight is mostly sold out, and they don’t seem to drop much if at all. I’ve flown with them and tracked fares with them many times. Honestly, US$890 for two one-way tickets from Seattle to Frankfurt seems like a great deal so I’d jump on that soon. The fare might not go up for a while, but I doubt it will go down.

    There are two other slightly complicated things about your trip. One is that round-trip flights are usually only “cheap” when it’s 60 days or less from start to finish, which is why your round-trips might be seeming expensive. The other is that early January is prime travel time in much of the world, so it might be challenging to find a low fare when you book in October or later.

    If IcelandAir is selling you tickets from Seattle to Frankfurt with a 40-minute layover, I wouldn’t worry about it at all. It is a small airport and all of the gates are bunched in the same area, so you’ll probably have to walk about 100 feet from your inbound gate to your outbound gate. IcelandAir seems to have it worked out efficiently where their long-haul flights land around the same time and their flights onto Europe leave about an hour later. So the airport is pretty crowded during that short time where everyone is changing planes, but they have the system worked out so there is enough time for passengers and their luggage to get to the right place before they all depart again.

    However, if you were to, say, fly to Reykjavik on IcelandAir and then to Frankfurt on Wow Air, then 40 minutes would be cutting it close. As long as it’s the same airline for both flights, you should be fine.

    For your return flights it might be tricky to get a decent deal. I’d recommend booking and buying as soon as you can when the funds are available. The good news is that you’ll have many options available. Obviously you’ll try Frankfurt to Seattle first and see what fares look like. If those seem high you might get a better deal leaving from Dusseldorf (a couple hours by train away) on Air Berlin. Or you could potentially find a cheap one-way flight first to Dublin or Oslo or Reykjavik, and then a cheap flight from that city back to the US. If you have trouble with it when you are ready, let me know and I’ll try to help. Best of luck with it all. -Roger

Angie says:

Looking for direct flight 3 adults London to Kuala Lumpur 19dec to 3 jan BA quote £3491 now should I wait??? Or book now as its Christmas???? Always get it wrong help!!!!



    In general, the fares for these longer flights have been at their cheapest several months in advance, and sometimes cheapest up to 7 months in advance. But when it comes to prime Christmas travel dates like these, the advice has always been to book as early as possible. So if I were you I’d buy now because chances are far better of the fares going up from here rather than down.

    However, I just ran those dates and noticed that Lufthansa is offering flights on those dates with a change of planes in Frankfurt for £719 per person, which seems pretty good for prime weekend flights during the holidays. If you need to fly nonstop then the BA flights will be your best bet. Either way, I’d book soon. Best of luck. -Roger

Angie says:

Hi Roger
Thanks for the advice will make a decision very soon!

Nick says:

Hi Roger,
First off- Appreciate the effort you’ve taken in putting together this article and also in replying to the queries.

I was looking up flights for leisure travel from Charlotte to Mumbai, India.
2 trips: One starting around mid- October and second around mid- December.

Any recommendations on when would be a good time to look for individual trip tickets?



    Thank you. I’d definitely start getting serious about buying the October ticket soon. For longer flights like this, the recent trend is toward fares being their lowest about 5 months out. For the mid-December one you might have another month or two before you’d have to start worrying about fares going up and not coming back down, except of course that is close to Christmas season so it might already be near the bottom of the price curve.

    Even though India obviously doesn’t have its own large Christmas celebration, many people flood into Goa and other resort areas during that period. Also, many expat Indians have time off work so they head home in late December and early January. In other words, the closer your flights might come to the main Christmas break, the better chance that they will be going up in price from here.

    If you can find a fare around US$1,100 roundtrip from Charlotte to Mumbai, that’s about as low as it’s going to get. I’m sure the flights that are close to Christmas are already higher than that, but hopefully flights in early December are still reasonable. Best of luck. -Roger

Nick says:

Just a quick question: $1100 is the lowest I can get for a roundtrip fare ever or $1100 is the lowest during these months?



    It’s looking like US$1,100 roundtrip is about the lowest at any time of year between those two cities. You can fly from New York City to Mumbai for a bit under US$900 at times, but of course you have to get to NYC for that. Things obviously change and maybe there will be a good fare sale at some point. In general, US$1,100 seems pretty much the bottom, which isn’t surprising for flights that take you halfway around the world like that. By the way, Charlotte to Paris is about the same price of US$1,100 return, and it’s only halfway to Mumbai. So that is a pretty good fare in this day and age. Bon voyage. -Roger

Nick says:

Roger that 😉
Thanks a lot!!

– Nick

Celeste says:

My sister and I are going to St. Thomas in early November 2015. There is a straight USAir RT from Charlotte (for me), and a one stop (in Charlotte) flight from DCA for her – of course even though we get on the same plane, hers is $115 cheaper! Should we buy now ($656 and $541)or wait till later?



    This is a frustrating example of what happens when one carrier controls a huge majority of flights in and out of a single airport. Another famous example is Atlanta and Delta, where people changing planes in Atlanta usually pay less than those starting in Atlanta on the same flight.

    I just checked 3 different sets of dates and it appears that USAir keep their fares from Charlotte to St. Thomas starting at around $650 all year. I also saw American Airlines flights starting from Charlotte then changing in Boston then changing again in Miami on their way to St. Thomas for $483, but that routing is ridiculous and probably not worth it.

    Anyway, long story short, it appears that $656 is pretty close to the lowest fare you’ll get for a nonstop round-trip between Charlotte and St. Thomas in the coming months. So I doubt the fare will go down, although it seems likely to stay at that same level for another month or two (if I had to guess). If you are sure you want to fly on those dates in November, it’s probably wise to book soon and get it over with. If you waited a few weeks there is a tiny chance that the fare will come down, but also a chance that it would become difficult or impossible for you and your sister to arrive on the same flight. Best of luck and have a great trip. -Roger

Angela says:

Hi roger …thanks for all your help.

Coming back from a cruise on Sunday Septmeber 27. Need one way tickets from Vancouver to Lax. When i first looked at prices back in March they were 75 dollars cheaper. They sti5ll seem to be hovering around the same prices within 10 dollars (and i have been monitoring 3 times a day the last 30 days). Im wondering if i should just buy now? I didn’t bite before because its such a short flight I thought for sure the prices would go down but Im not seeing the previous low fares. Back in march one way nonstop 160 now that same flights or similar are about 225 on up. What do you think?….Thanks again!



    Weirdly enough, I just checked flights on that date and I see loads of non-stops from Vancouver to LAX starting at US$136 per person, one-way. Alaska, Air Canada, WestJet, and Delta all have non-stops from US$136 to US$150. Sunday flights are popular so they don’t necessarily get cheaper as the date approaches because they are often booked up while the mid-week flights are still half empty.

    I found those fares on, by the way. If you are looking at something different please let me know and I’ll try to help. Otherwise I’d jump on one of those flights soon. The trend is that fares aren’t going down only a few weeks out as often as that used to happen. So let me know if we are looking at different things, and I’ll try to help if I can. -Roger

      Angela says:

      hi roger…I forgot to add because of the cruise disembarktion procedure and having to clear through customs they reccomend no flight earlier than 12 noon. So everything i have been targeting has to be in that time frame. I was hoping to get in the 175 range but Im not seeing it and starting to wonder if the fare will decrease at all. Im still 10 weeks out though. What do you think? thanks



        That explains it. The flights at around US$136 are mostly before 9am, although there is one on Air Canada for $137 leaving at 8:30pm, getting into LAX at 11:23pm. Some people, probably including me, would spend the day in Vancouver and head to the airport in the evening, but I understand that many people don’t want to do that and then get home late just to save US$100 per person.

        It looks like WestJet has a nonstop flight at 4:35pm for US$206 per person. But if you can still get that American flight for US$225 then it could be better. In general I think you’ll be best off finding the current flight that works best for you and booking it ASAP. As mentioned, the airlines generally only lower fares when the planes are still mostly empty, and a prime-time flight on a Sunday afternoon is going to be in high demand. It’s probably already half full of other people getting off that same cruise.

        And I agree that it’s frustrating, but renting a car and going through that border on a Sunday afternoon could also be a nightmare. I used to live in Portland and my family is from LA so I’ve long been unhappy with how much those flights usually are. Long story short, I think the chances of a significant fare dip on a good flight are very low, so lock up what you can get now. Best of luck. -Roger

Angela says:

Oh and one more thing. I found American fare late last night at 225 leaving at 555. I put the fare on the 24 hour hold. My target time to leave is 12 noon to 6 pm. I see the american fare is back up to 260 this morning. Should i just keep the fare and book the tickets? its frustrating seeing tickets in the 250 300 range from Vancouver..whereas I could just drive 3 -4 hours across the border to seattle airport and its $112. I just didnt want to do the drive though. thanks again

Sarah says:

Hi Roger! Thank you for your quick response in regards to my India/SE Asia trip. I bought a one way ticket to Kochi India from SFO in early January for $786 (Singapore Airlines). I hope that was a good deal! My next step is to buy my onward ticket from India into Nepal for early/mid April. I found a ticket for only $80 from Dehli to Kathmandu (Nepal Airlines). Is Nepal Airlines a good/reputable airline? And is $80 a good price? It seems incredibly cheap to me for airfare! Also, if I wait until I’m in India to buy my ticket into Bali from Nepal, would the price be cheaper because I’m buying it from India (as opposed to buying it before I leave the US)? Thank you again for all your great advice! ~Sarah



    I’m glad this has helped and it sounds like you have found some good deals. I’ve not flown Nepal Airlines but it seems to get pretty good reviews, and while they seem to have had a few incidents over the years, that wouldn’t sway me because all planes are so much safer than any other type of travel in that region. If another airline (like Air India) is a similar price, it’s something to consider. The real danger in Nepal are the buses that go from Kathmandu to Pokhara and other cities that require a mountain pass leg. Just make sure you pick a good company for those, although when the weather is decent I think they are all safe. Yes, US$80 is a good price for that flight, but Air India also offers that fare. New Delhi to Kathmandu is only 85 minutes by air, so that fare doesn’t seem unusually cheap.

    You won’t get cheaper airfares for onward flights once in India. The online fare will be the same no matter where you are. And if you will be flying on one of the low-cost airlines to Bali then the sooner you buy it the cheaper it will be. I’m a big fan of Air Asia and their flights start out very cheap and get more expensive as the seats are sold. You might be best off booking another cheap flight from Kathmandu back to Delhi and then a separate flight to Bali. You’d need a multi-entry visa for India for that. Whatever you do, research the options soon so you’ll know the best ways of doing that leg. Have a great trip. -Roger

Eloy says:

I am thinking of visiting Iceland (Reykjavik) from Spain (Bilbao) in February for 4 days, but I have been looking at tickets for two of my friends who live in Miami. Would it be better to connect through Atlanta instead of flying directly from Miami? I have been looking at many sites. Some have been as high as $3,000 USD, and some as low $900.



    I’m not sure I completely understand the question, but I’ll take a shot at it. There are no nonstop flights between Miami and Keflavík International Airport these days, and I don’t see any from Atlanta into Iceland either. So your friends in Miami will have to change planes elsewhere, probably in New York City or Toronto. I now see that IcelandAir (which is great, by the way) does fly out of Orlando, and that’s only about a 3-hour drive from the Miami area so it might be the fastest option.

    If it were me I’d just look for the cheapest flight starting from Miami or Fort Lauderdale (these airports are very close together) to Keflavík International Airport, and choose the cheapest one with a reasonable connection. You might find a cheap one connecting through Berlin or elsewhere in Europe, but that is a LONG journey that way. Most likely they’d fly from MIA or FLL through JFK to Iceland, and JFK is basically on the way so it would be fast. Or if they could drive or take a shuttle from their home to Orlando and fly nonstop to Iceland from there, it might be even better. I hope this answers your question. If not, please clarify and I’ll try again. -Roger

pasquale says:

After 80 Ryanair flights,i can say that the best range to buy this tickets is less or more about 25 days before-

Gaurav says:

Hi Roger,
Chicago(USA) to Chennai(India)
ONE WAY Journey.
Departure date: 23,24,25,26Jan2016….
would like to leave on 24 or 25th Jan.
Would like to go from Air India.
when is the best time to book the ticket?
I checked tickets are around $670, will this
be reduced further considering the oneway
Should I book from Online websites(Kayak,cheapoair etc) or Airline website itself?
Is it too early to book the ticket?
Thanks in advance!!



    I’m seeing fares of US$661 on Air India changing in Delhi if you leave on January 25, and $557 on Gulf Air (with 2 lengthy stopovers). As far as I can see, those fares are just about the lowest that are available on that route. Your travel date is definitely in the low season so I’m sure those flights are still mostly empty at this point. So on one hand, I doubt the fare will start climbing in the next couple of months, but on the other hand, they may not go down during that period either. I think if you find a departure time and connection that you like, it’s probably worth just buying as soon as you are sure you are going. I’d say there is a small chance that the fare might drop a bit, but probably not much if at all, and the next move might be higher anyway. I checked the flights for various dates sooner than that and they are all higher fares. Good luck on this. -Roger

      Gaurav says:

      Thanks for your reply Roger!! I really appreciate your guidance on this matter. I am glad that you are really a guiding light from the Sun amidst the darkness of “journey planning” to people.

Marilyn says:

When is best time to buy one way from LAX TO SFO for Jan 2?

Thank you



    Especially for flights right around the Christmas and New Years holidays, it’s best to book as early as possible. In other words, buy that ticket soon because the chances of the fare going higher are MUCH greater than of the fare going down. Best of luck. -Roger

Stephen says:

Hi Roger

Great article with lots of info. I’m looking to travel from Sfo into Asia during Christmas time with visits into Singapore, Bali, Manila and perhaps Sydney. Sydney would be a big maybe. Traveling from the 21st-23rd December and arriving back between the 8th-10th January.

Any recommendations? Keeping in mind that I’d like to keep connections to a minimum?




    I’d definitely recommend getting that first ticket from San Francisco to Asia very soon because fares are almost certain to just keep going up from here. And since you only have a bit over two weeks, I think I’d save Sydney for a future trip. Australia (because it’s summer there) is very busy during the Christmas season so those flights would cost a lot.

    Once you choose your first Asia destination (Singapore would be easiest) then I’d recommend probably booking the rest of your Asia flights on Air Asia, which is a really nice airline with excellent fares. But again, the fares start low and keep going up as more seats are sold, so the sooner you buy them the cheaper they will be. Then just book the cheapest one-way flight back to San Francisco from your last destination. It might be slightly cheaper to book a round-trip into Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, but in that part of the world the one-way flights are usually just half of the round-trip fare.

    Not that you asked, but I feel compelled to mention that Singapore is fairly small (and hotels are very expensive) so you probably only want to spend a few days there. After that you might take a bus or train into Malaysia, which is also nice and quite a bit cheaper. You could stop in Malacca for a couple days and then onto Kuala Lumpur, which is Air Asia’s main hub. You could even keep going north into Bangkok, which is another excellent city, and also a big Air Asia hub.

    I love Bali, even though December is part of the rainy season, and I’ll be there myself in February. So you could spend a week or more there and love all of it. But Manila itself is a somewhat frustrating city without many notable attractions. The Philippines has excellent beaches and some cool areas, but Manila isn’t all that great. Best of luck with this and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. -Roger

      Stephen Day says:

      HI Roger.

      Spot on for the quick reply. I’m only looking to fly through manila at some point as I have family there (and agreed nothing great to see there other than a few resorts and some shopping).

      Again, thanks for the great input – where do you recommend to stay in Bali? I was looking at one of the Melia’s – thoughts?



        I’m happy to help, and interestingly enough, I thought perhaps Manila was a family thing because it otherwise doesn’t show up on many short itineraries like that.

        As for where to stay in Bali, that will depend on your goals for being there. I’ve not stayed in any of the Melia hotels there (or anywhere else) though they do look nice. One great thing about Bali is that accommodation tends to be great value, so you can get a pretty nice hotel for under US$30 per night, and a wonderful place for well under US$100 per night. The chain hotels tend to charge much more than the more local places, as you might expect. If I were you I’d just check (by far the best hotel site for Asia) and check their listings for your dates in the different parts of Bali you are considering. The reviews on that site are very reliable, so if a place averages 8.0 or higher, you can be confident that it’ll be a winner.

        The main thing is picking which area(s) to stay in. The famous party scene is based in Kuta Beach, and things are a bit more quiet just north of there in Legian or Seminyak. I’d recommend at least a couple nights in one of those places, and then at least a couple more nights in the Ubud area, which is in the hills and known for its arts and crafts scene. Those are the two most obvious areas to visit, and probably the best choices for a first visit. And again, there are scores of really nice and affordable hotels in all of those areas, so I’d just choose one with a good price, good location, and great reviews. Let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

          sandra says:

          Hello, Roger!
          I’m going to India (Bangalore) from Zagreb (Croatia) in late January, returning late February 2016.It seems to me prices are going slightly up. Cheapest I found is 505 EUR. Should I book now?



          Hmmm…considering that Zagreb isn’t a very major airport, then €505 seems like a great fare for a return to India. On the other hand, the dates you are flying will be in the low season, so those planes are still mostly unsold at this point. That means that fares could very well drop in the next couple months, but I can’t imagine that they’d go too much lower even if they did. Honestly, I would have guessed that your return fare to India would be been around €900 or more, so I’m still amazed by the €505.

          In summary, it’s definitely possible or even probably that fares will come down again in October or November for your flights, but checking for that all the time can be stressful and maybe not worth it. And it’s possible that fares will just keep going up since there aren’t many long-distance flights out of Zagreb. If it were me, and the €505 flights look like they are good times, I’d book soon and just get it over with. Best of luck. -Roger

sandra says:

Thank you very much, I’l try waiting some more, and book if the fairs start going up.You give advice with great detail and understanding.


Rupesh says:

HI Roger,

i need to go to kathmandu from lisbon on november/december and back after 2/3 month.i am flexible with date.would you please recommend me a cheapest TWO WAY ticket….
thank you….




    I’m not sure what you are looking for with this request. I just plugged in random dates during the time periods you mentioned and I see that Etihad has many choices starting at around US$847 return. I used Wednesday flights for the test because those are usually cheapest. That seems like a pretty good fare for that route, since neither Lisbon or Kathmandu is a major hub. And I doubt the fare will go down much, so if you see a price like that you should think about booking it. Best of luck and let me know if you have further questions. -Roger

Ulises says:

HI Roger,so my girlfriend wants to fly out from Auckland, New Zealand to Los Angeles to see me for the upcoming summer 2016,around July 1st and stay for 3 weeks before heading back. Around what time would be best for her to book the flight?




    My best guess is that the ticket from Auckland to Los Angeles would be near its cheapest level starting next January, and will probably stay around that level for a couple months. As long as you guys are a bit flexible with the actual travel dates, I think you can do fine by waiting until early next year. But if you see a fare that looks good before then, it might not be bad to jump on it. Needless to say, July is high season for flights, so things might fill up earlier than it would for other periods. Best of luck. -Roger

Mike says:

Hi Roger

Looking to fly to San Juan in late Feb 2016 for one week. What do you recommend to buy tickets?




    The studies continue to show that airfares for the Caribbean are still usually cheapest only 2 or 3 weeks out. However, it can be a bit risky to try this because there is obviously no guarantee that fares will drop, and the better resorts might also be already booked by that time. I’m actually in Jamaica right now and I’ve been watching Caribbean airfares for years.

    So in the end, you might save maybe US$50 or a bit more by waiting, but you might end up with a lousy hotel if you get unlucky. If I were you I’d watch fares for your best dates and flight times, and if you see them drop at all, be ready to buy soon. Or if you don’t mind gambling a bit, you can wait until early February, and also check the package deals, which might still include some better hotels. Good luck. -Roger

Natasha says:

we are planning to fly to Puerto Rico during Christmas holidays (19th to o27th) When will be a good time to book airline tickets?



    Generally speaking, flights to the Caribbean tend to be cheapest only 2 or 3 weeks out, but for peak Christmas dates like this, especially if you have very little flexibility, you are best buying them as soon as possible. In other words, buy now. The airlines know that these seats are in very high demand so they won’t drop the fares at all, and the fares will continue to rise as each flight fills up. Good luck with this. -Roger

Cordero Hudson says:

Hello I am wondering when I should I buy my ticket for Vegas for Memorial day weekend 2016. Right now tickets are $450



    The answer to this question will depend on your starting point. If you are starting in another country then you might want to wait until early next year, or until you see fares drop a bit. But if you are starting in the US then you will probably find your lowest fare on a low-cost airline such as Southwest or JetBlue. In that case then buying early is almost always the cheapest choice. Let me know your starting point and I might be able to help more. -Roger

Lisa Coppola says:

I am looking for flights for Mid June 2016 from JFK to Palermo, now which is 9 months prior, they seem so high 1900 dollars. do you think it is a better idea to wait do you think they will go down?



    That does seem very high and my best guess is that the fare will come down by January if not sooner. Unfortunately, airlines know that anyone who wants to lock in a flight that far in advance is highly motivated and probably has something very specific in mind. I see that the flight would cost you as little as US$911 round-trip if you booked now and went in mid January, which is the cheapest time of year. The fare for a June flight will never get that low, but I’d think that you can find it for somewhere close to around US$1,300 round-trip in June if you wait until December or January to book. If it doesn’t get that low, at least it should drop quite a bit from what you are seeing now. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Eddie M says:

I am looking for flights for Mid December 2015 to Central America from Raleigh, NC. Would it be a better to wait 4 to 5 weeks out for booking flight or it would be smarter to book now?


    Eddie M,

    The answer really depends on how close to Christmas you’ll get with these flights. If you are going before, say, December 18 and returning before then or after about January 10, you might do better by waiting. But if you want to go or return within a week or Christmas or New Years, I’d probably book soon. Good luck. -Roger

jonathan s says:

Will be purchasing a flight from Oakland to Honolulu for 03/24-3/30 (which happens to be around easter) When is the best time to purchase tickets? Ive seen, purchase asap and ive seen to wait until approx. 60 days out. Any advice?

Apologies for asking the same question if this was previously asked.



    This is a tricky one because Easter in Hawaii is indeed popular. My recommendation is that if you are really fixed on those dates then you should try to buy fairly soon, or at least by November or so. But if you are flexible with your dates you might still find lower fares in January or February. A holiday like Easter obviously pushes so many people into the same travel week that the most convenient weekend flights will fill up first and early, and fares will just go higher. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Jonathan s says:

Thanks for the reply. We are set with the dates. One of the couples that we’re going with is a teacher so this one of her only times off. I called the airline that we will be flying and she believes that the pricing will drop due to the high demand but it may be tough to grab those reduced seats unless I am checking daily. Fortunately she said that we also have an option to be credited back the difference for a future flight if a cheaper identical itinerary becomes available. Sounds like we’ll wait a couple of weeks and cross and hope for some luck.

Thanks Again Roger

Rin says:

Hi Roger,

I’m living in Houston. I plan to go to Seoul, Korea from July 2016 – August 2016. Right now, the price is $1287. Should I wait til next January to buy it or should I take the price? Thanks in advance for your help.



    This is a tough one. My best guess is that the fare will be lowest in January or February, but I think you should track it at least weekly until then and be ready to buy if/when the fare drops. Those flights are still nearly empty, so there is no reason that the fare will keep going up, at least until next March or so. Good luck with this. -Roger

      Rin says:

      Thanks Roger! Do you happen to know what is usually considered a good price for a trip from Houston to Seoul? I don’t travel abroad a lot so I’m not sure when it comes to prices. I want to give what is a good price so I can buy it when it’s within the range.

Rocelle Dimalig says:

Please disregard my previous comment as there’s typographical error. My boyfriend is planning to travel from Canada to Manila, Philippines this February 2016 (before or on Valentine’s Day) and return date will be end of February 2016. The ticket price he is getting right now is around 1,300 Canadian $. When would be the best time to buy ticket? Is it between October to November 2015 or after New Year(1st week of January 2016)? Thanks



    For long-distance international flights like this, the fares have been getting lower earlier and then starting to rise. Since the flight is already only about 4 or 5 months away, I’d be ready to buy soon, hopefully if the fare drops a bit. I doubt it will start to rise very soon, but still, that’s actually a pretty decent deal for a flight like that, so if the times look good I’d consider buying very soon. Good luck. -Roger

Philip Tambasco says:


I am looking to book a one way ticket to Taiwan from Raleigh, NC near the 1st of December 2015.

Prices look about the same across the boar searching 5 weeks out, as they do for my departure date, about 8 weeks out.

The 11 week theory was destroyed by Christmas, as that brings it too close to the Holiday.

Since its about the same price, think its worth the gamble to see if a sale pops up? Or is it unlikely a sale released in Oct/Nov would be for tickets purchased in Dec?

Thank you !



    I do think it’s unlikely that a fare sale will pop up for your flight within the next few weeks. All the recent trends show that longer international flights like this tend to have their fares bottom out from 3 to 5 months in advance. If the flights you are seeing are all about the same price in the coming couple of months then at least you know you are getting a decent deal. I’d just go ahead and book now, as long as the connections look good for the flights you are looking at. I’d think that early December is pretty low season going to Taiwan so it’s possible that the fare will edge down a bit, but I think it’s more likely that it’ll go up in the next few weeks rather than down. Best of luck. -Roger

Alex says:

Hello! I want to fly to Nassau, Bahamas March 3rd to April 1st from Raleigh, NC. I am not sure what these flights normally cost, but I have seen them rise over a couple weeks now. I have heard the best time to purchase tickets is a few months out, so this is a bit early, but since I will be going there during the spring break season, is it smart to purchase now? I see a Delta ticket for $455. Thanks!!!



    This is a tricky one and $455 does seem high for this flight. I just tried a bunch of different dates and the lowest fare I can find is $355 RT (on Delta, through ATL), which is for flights leaving a few weeks from now. The weird thing about the Caribbean is that flights tend to be least expensive only 2 or 3 weeks out, but that could be risky and it would make it hard to lock in accommodation in advance. I check these fares all the time as I’m currently in Miami and I’m doing a bunch of trips to nearby Caribbean islands.

    I think if you can be flexible on your flight dates a bit then you’ll be able to save money by waiting and booking whenever you see fares starting to drop, which might not be until next January or February. But if you are really locked into those dates you mentioned then it might not be worth gambling on lower fares. My best guess is that those fares will stay around the same level, more or less, for the rest of this year, and early in 2016 they might drop a bit. But if those happen to be popular dates (like, something big is going on there around those times), then the fares might just stay where they are and then go up. This is always a complicated topic, especially for a cheapskate like me. I always want to get the best deal possible, but in this case the lowest possible fare looks to be $355, so the potential savings are only $100 per person. Many people are better off just locking the flights in so they don’t have to stress over it for weeks or months. Still, I doubt very much that the fares will go up soon and keep going up from there, so I do think you have some time to keep checking and hope that they drop again. It would suck if you had to fly on Air Canada through Toronto to get a decent deal because the Delta flights went up. Good luck. -Roger

AK says:

Hi, I am looking for flights to New Delhi from Charlotte, NC for Dec. Dates are flexible(4 weeks stay – Dec 8 – Jan 8 for eg) but looks like the fares are $$$
Any suggestions?



    This is a tough one. Charlotte isn’t known for having great airfares and obviously New Delhi is almost on the other side of the world. The fares are likely to rise rather than go down from here. My first suggestion would be to check fares and possibly fly on Wednesdays because those are almost always the cheapest.

    Another thing you could try is to look for a ticket into Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha (Qatar), and then another ticket from there to New Delhi. Those Middle Eastern airlines usually have the best deals on these long flights, and you might be able to do better by piecing together two flights. If you have to stay overnight in one of those cities to get a better deal, then Dubai is the cheapest and easiest of them.

    One last thing you could try is to look for a relatively cheap flight from Charlotte into New York City and then another flight from there to New Delhi. You might even get a good deal on an Air India flight that way. Good luck and don’t wait too long to buy. -Roger


Hey I’m planning a trip in April 2016. I’m from Canada and I want to go to Mauritius when will it be better for me to buy tickets.



    For a longer trip on a less popular route like that I’d be looking to buy those tickets in November or December. Close to six months out is a reliable range for the lowest prices on something like this. So in other words, I’d see what fares are right now and check at least once per week or so until you see that the fare has come down a bit. When it does, be ready to buy. Whichever flight you end up taking, I can guarantee that most of the seats on it are unsold as of this moment, so it’s unlikely that fares will just keep going up. By January you should probably see the fare go down, and if you don’t by the end of that month, it’s probably not worth waiting any longer. Best of luck on this. -Roger

Chuck Ing says:

Hi Roger, I will visit Central America in August 2016, and I want to fly from Costa Rica to Belize, is it advisable to buy plane ticket while I am in Costa Rica? Is August high season in Central America? Thanks!



    Quite a few years ago it was sometimes possible to get cheap flights on local airlines that weren’t available from outside a country. But those days are over and all the best deals are available online from anywhere, except for perhaps a few small domestic airlines that only make short hops. However, now that I’m looking at those flights, it doesn’t look like there are any decent deals at all. August is kind of a mini high season in that area with all the people on summer break, but the main high season is December through March. In other words, flights shouldn’t be too more expensive then than in other months.

    The cheapest one-ways I’m seeing now for August are in business class, changing planes in El Salvador. That doesn’t look right. This is a weird one. Personally, I took a bus from Belize to Tikal in northern Guatemala (highly recommended) and then a short flight from there to Guatemala City (to stay in Antigua). After that I got a cheap flight from Guatemala City to San Jose. If you don’t want to do something complicated like that, you might end up paying around US$350 for that one-way. I wish I could figure out something better. Good luck and follow up if you have any other ideas. -Roger

Yvonne Hellya says:

Hi Roger, Most of this info relates to US residents flying either locally or internationally. I want to be flying from Sough Africa to Zurich in May 2016. Do you have any advice on this sort of international flight? Thanks for your help. Regards Yvonne



    I’ve run quite a few tests for international flights that don’t involve the US and the patterns tend to be the same. This is an example of a longer flight on a route that isn’t too common, so the lowest fares will usually be around 4 or 5 months out. So I’d start checking fares now and most likely you’ll see a drop shortly after the beginning of 2016. When you see them drop, be ready to buy. I think it’s unlikely that fares will start going up for good until maybe March or so. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Chelsea says:

My fiance and I are getting married next August. We are going to St Thomas, USVI to do it. We are booked at our resort from 8/13/16 to 8/20/16. When should we buy our tickets to get the best price? Is any particular airline the best for low cost travel from the NY/NJ are? We can fly from LGA, JFK, EWR or PHL into St. Thomas. Thank you!



    As I’ve mentioned above, the Caribbean is a weird airfare market because the lowest fares tend to be only 2 or 3 weeks out. But August is a busy month for flights everywhere and if you have your resort already booked then I wouldn’t risk waiting for a last-minute fare reduction. Forgetting Spirit Airlines and its tiny seats for the moment, it looks like your best deal is on American Airlines out of LaGuardia for about US$487 roundtrip. My guess is that the flight will be closer to US$400 at some point early next year, but again, August is very busy for flights so there is a chance that the fare won’t go down.

    One thing I can guarantee you is that those flights are mostly empty as of now, so I think it’s worth checking it periodically and waiting for a price drop. If the price doesn’t drop by next March or so, you might just want to buy since your hotel is already booked. So I think you have time on your side for right now. Good luck with this. -Roger

Lorne says:

We booked a house in Akumal (Cancun) Mexico from 3/19/16 through 3/26/16. Easter is the 27th so I guess it could be considered a “holiday time”. I wanted to use Southwest points for at least part of the flight, however they didn’t have the international routes posted and operational on the website until mid October. I have been watching the fares and they seem to be rapidly increasing. Should I wait for the price to drop or just bite the bullet and pay the current high price?



    Yes, if you are going the week before Easter then it’s definitely high season for Caribbean flights. If it were any other week I’d think that you could save money by waiting until after Christmas, but for a Saturday to Saturday flight during Easter week it’s possible that those flights are actually filling up. People tend to start booking those sunshine flights right after it starts getting cold where they live, and that has been in the last few weeks in many places.

    As far as I know, Southwest operates like most other low-cost airlines in that all fares start low and they increase as seats are sold on each flight. If you’ve already locked in that house, I’d think about booking the flight soon. There should be other airline choices, depending on your starting point, but if your dates are fixed then those fares might be going up as well. Sorry for not having better news. Good luck on this. -Roger

Lorne says:

Sorry, forgot to mention that we would be flying out of Reno, NV.

An says:

I plan for a Cancun vacation on mid of June. What is the best time to book for it? Thanks.



    June isn’t really high season in Cancun so you should be able to get very good fares as late as next May. So if your schedule is flexible (meaning you can leave on a Wednesday or a Monday or whatever) then your best deals are likely to appear with only 2 or 3 weeks to departure. However, if you have a resort booked and your dates are locked in then it’s probably worth buying the airfare by March or so. The fares probably won’t change drastically and it’s probably not worth sweating it out trying to save another US$30 on a holiday that will cost at least US$1,000 altogether. So if you are a gambler then good deals might be waiting for you in May. But not everyone is comfortable with that gamble, so booking sooner might be wise if that’s the case. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Kimi Browne says:

Hi Roger,

I plan to trip from New Zealand to Europe (e.g. UK & Ireland) in mid-August through October 2016, do you think it’s a bad idea to wait until January 2016 to see if prices will drop or not? Or when do you think is best time to book? Thanks in advance. 🙂



    My hunch is that it’s early to lock in a flight this far off. Nearly everything I’ve read says that fares tend to be lowest starting at around 6 months out for these longer routes. Right now the airlines know that anyone booking this far in advance is locking in some specific dates that are important to them, and they aren’t very price-sensitive yet. So I’d start watching for fare sales starting in January, and be ready to buy if the price drops.

    My other advice is more general. What I like to do is check the route I have in mind for a variety of dates, like leaving one month from now, two months from now, and so on. Once you’ve checked a wide range of departure dates you’ll see what the minimum price for that route is. Let’s say it’s US$1,000 return for your route, and the fare for your desired dates is US$1,300 right now. At that point you know that if the fare ever gets down near US$1,000 then it’s time to buy. I think it’s unlikely that flights for next mid August will start to climb up and stay there until at least March or April.

    It’s also worth noting that flights start emptying a bit starting in mid August, even though they are packed at the beginning of the month. So leaving mid August and returning in October, you won’t really be in “high season” anymore. My only real concern is that there might be a limited number of airlines departing from Auckland, and if that’s the case the fares might behave a bit differently. Still, I think waiting until early next year is wise. Best of luck, and let me know if you have any other questions I might help with. -Roger

      Kimi Browne says:

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks in advance for your prompt response; I was initially concerned if I made the wrong decision in waiting until January 2016! Appreciate the other advice, thanks again Roger! 🙂

Dee Lee says:

Hi Roger –
I am trying to get tickets from the Bay Area (SFO) to Costa Rica (SJO) over Spring Break (March 26-April 3) and I just saw tickets increase a lot over the past couple weeks. Did I miss my opportunity for a cheaper flight, or am I so far out there is still much fluctuation?


    Dee Lee,

    My best guess is that the fares will come down again in the next couple of months, but if you really need to fly out on that Saturday and fly back on that specific Sunday, it’s possible that those flights have gone up for good. I think the week before (the week before Easter) tends to be busier, though the week after is also popular. Depending on how much the flights have recently gone up, they might still come down a bit. I see that the flights are showing at US$750 RT right now, while they are only US$496 if you do both legs on Wednesdays.

    In other words, if you have some flexibility to come or go a day or two early you can probably get something close to the fare you were seeing before. But if you need to go on those specific dates you might be looking at paying US$750 for that. Even if those fares don’t come down again soon, I doubt they’ll go up much more than where they are, so you probably have a month or so to keep checking. Best of luck, and sorry the news isn’t better. -Roger

Lucian says:


we would like to go to Europe in May15-June17/18, when would be the best time to buy tickets from Toronto to Amsterdam? Should we fly from Toronto(YYZ) or different city to Amsterdam? We will also travel throughout Europe and would like some suggestions as to what transportation would be cheaper to use and when to book it? Thank You!



    For a North America to Europe flight like that, about 4 to 6 months seems to be cheapest these days, so I’d look now and buy if you find a fare that seems reasonable with good flight times. Amsterdam is a bit more expensive to fly into than some other airports in Europe, but it’s also a great and very easy airport so it’s probably worth it. You might save, say, CA$80 each by flying into Dusseldorf, for example, but then you’d spend half of that on the train ticket to Amsterdam, and it would take three hours at a time when you are already tired from the flight. So I’d just get the best fare into Amsterdam and be done with it.

    You’ll almost certainly want to take trains to get between cities in Europe, at least withing Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and Spain. If you are going to other countries then let me know which ones and I’ll let you know how to get around. And the train tickets go on sale about 3 to 4 months out and they are cheapest then. The fare goes up as more seats are sold, and they become quite expensive as travel day nears. So buy as early as you can for the best fares. Have a great trip. -Roger

Michael C says:

Looking to find out the best time to pre-purchase Mel-Sea/Lax/Pdx around late July/early August? Many thanks.



    From all of the recent tests, I’d say that starting about 6 months out you’ll see fares come down and they should stay about in the same area for a month or two. In other words, I’d be checking fares now and be ready to buy as soon as you see them drop in the next month or two. Best of luck. -Roger

Ona says:

Hi Rodger,
I am looking to book flights for 3 people from Birmingham UK to phuket Thailand. The cheapest i have got is £625 for qartar aiways to travel august 2016. Should I book now or wait for the 12 weeks, do you think it will fall?



    For longer flights like that it seems that fares are lower more like 5 to 6 months in advance. So I think you should wait another month or two, and just generally be ready to buy once you see a fare drop. I doubt they will go up from where they are now anytime soon, so you should have time to wait a bit. Best of luck. -Roger

Donna says:

Hi, thank you for all of the great info! I’d like to travel from LAX to SXM on May 19 (overnight flight, arrive the next day) and return to LAX on May 30 (1 stop each way). I’ll be coming from the west coast (I believe most come from the east) and May 30 is Memorial Day (USA holiday). The flight prices to book now seem almost two times as high as the usual prices (I’ve been going around this time for quite some time now). When do you think I should book to get the best price? Thanks again!



    This is a bit of a tricky one. Generally speaking, flights into the Caribbean tend to be at their cheapest only about 2 or 3 weeks out, BUT if you need to fly on a major holiday like this then the fares would normally just keep going up in price as the date approaches. In other words, it’s a tough call and could go either way. What are fares like if you were able to fly home maybe two days later? If they are much lower then that probably means that the Memorial Day flights are already filling up and fares might not come back down. But if fares for that whole period are unusually high then you might be best off waiting a month or two and hoping that they come down a bit.

    And of course, if you can fly back a day earlier or a day or two later, it would probably help. Good luck on this. -Roger

Alicia says:

Taking a trip to Italy on specific dates in July into August. when would be the best time to buy? Think I missed the boat on buying really inexpensive tickets I saw at the end of December but hoping they will at least come down from there current prices. Any help is appreciated. Family of five



    I’m assuming that you are starting in the US or Canada, although in this case it probably doesn’t make much difference as long as you are coming from outside of Europe. As you know, July and August are extremely popular for trips to Europe so the airlines know that they can sell all of those seats at pretty high prices. My best guess is that fares will hover around the same area for a couple more months, maybe going down a bit and then going up a bit here and there. So in other words, I think you should think about buying soon, although I doubt that fares will just keep going up and up and up from here. I’d want to buy by April, and hopefully you’ll see a fare drop at some point soon.

    Aside from that, your best bets would be to look for flights on Wednesdays or into alternate airports and that sort of thing. Rome and Milan are the two cheapest airports to fly into in Italy. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Venkat says:

Hello Roger,
At the very outset, Thank you for being a travel advisor for last 4 years (gathering from your first response; perhaps even more).
My question… I will be traveling to Chennai, India during July 1st week. Has the trend changed during the last few years or is March end-April first week the best time to book tickets.

Thank you!



    I’m happy to help, so thanks for mentioning it. You don’t mention a starting point, so I assume it’s the US or Europe or some other place far from India. Whatever the case, the most recent trends has been that those longer flights have had their lower prices 3 to 6 months out, so I’d be ready to buy soon. So many Europeans get all of July off that those early-July flights are going to be popular, so I doubt that fares will be going down in the coming months. More likely is that they’ll go up, so buy soon if you can. Good luck. -Roger

Gemma says:

Hi Roger it appears you are the person to ask, i am looking at flying to China beijing in august for a 6 month teaching placement followed by some traveling ending up in Tokyo to return to Manchester.
so far i am being advised to buy a return ticket to Beijing with a flexi pass for an additional £99 which will allow me to change date/location of return only paying the differenc ein flight cost. currently the prices are around £600 mark for the return. should i go for this or wait until later in the year or 2 1 way flights?

thank you 🙂



    This is a tricky one (which is obviously why you asked!). If you are being advised to buy a return ticket for immigration reasons, as in they want to see proof of going home before you are let in, then do you really have a choice? But if it’s being recommended as the cheapest way to get to Beijing and then back from Tokyo to Manchester, that is a different story.

    So I can’t really answer the question, but I will offer a few facts that might help. For one thing, return tickets between Europe and Asia are generally the same price as a one-way ticket in each direction. So if you don’t NEED an outbound ticket to get into China, then your cheapest option is likely to buy a one-way ticket to Beijing and then a one-way ticket from Tokyo to Madchester as soon as you are sure of your return date.

    Also, I’d assume that the flexi-pass ticket would require you to book on the same airline from Tokyo that you flew into Beijing on. The potential problem with that is that you might trade in your £300 outbound ticket only to discover that their flights from Tokyo are £550 each way, while another airline might only charge £350 for the same route.

    Another strategy to be aware of is that you can sometimes (but definitely not always) get cheap one-way fares by booking a flight from Asia into Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha, and then another flight onward from there. In other words, you might find a cheap ticket from Tokyo to Dubai and then another cheap ticket from Dubai to Manchester (or London). I’m actually in Bali at the moment and in a couple weeks I’m flying from the Maldives to Dubai and then to Europe from there a few days later because it offers the most flexibility (and I like Dubai).

    Lastly, I actually think £600 return is a pretty good fare from the UK to China, so I don’t think you are going to do much better, and you could do worse. I’m not sure if any of this helped, but I hope it did and feel free to write back if I missed the point completely. -Roger

Faye says:

Hi Roger,i will be traveling to New York from Istanbul on July 2 round trip , i always book with Orbitz, last month when i was checking the prices, it was cheap like $590.00 – $600.00 but i just waited but know its shows $815.00. What should i do, wait or buy, and i always fly with Delta, non stop, also on some websites theres a rumors that Orbitz, Expedia, etc, track you, thats why the prices always high, is there any truth in to this? Anway when do you think the prices will go down and what is the right time to get tickets,



    Since July 2 is an extremely popular time to fly (partly because of the US holiday and also that half of Europe gets all of July off so they all head out around then), I think it’s most likely that the fares won’t go down again and will probably go up at some point. As you hopefully know, non-stop flights are almost always more expensive than stop-over flights on routes like these, confirmed by tests we run every year for this exact thing. In other words, I think booking soon might be best, as the fare on those non-stops seems much more likely to go up than down from here.

    Orbitz isn’t really known for having the best deals, so I’d recommend checking at least a couple other sites. For example, check, which should show the absolute lowest fares, and also

    I’ve also heard those rumors that those booking sites track you AND sometimes show higher fares for certain categories of people. As a website owner myself I can guarantee that they DO track you, but the airlines deny that they offer higher prices to certain people and I’ve never seen any proof that they do this. By the way, this site doesn’t track you at all, mostly because we never ask you to put in any data so we have nothing to track anyway.

    Still, if you use or you should see the lowest prices offered for sure, so you’ll know if is showing a higher price to you. But again, Orbitz usually doesn’t show all the lowest fares, so even this isn’t a guarantee that they are showing higher (or lower) fares to users who have made those searches before. Sorry that this isn’t better news, and best of luck. -Roger

Alexia says:

Hello Roger,

I will be traveling from Brussels to Vancouver in May.
When checking the tickets, I had a reasonable price ranging from 800-900EUR. I was surprised that the prices skyrocket to nearly 1200EUR 2 days later (concerning flights with proper schedule such as BA and AC)
Any chance the fares go down as May/June are usually low season?
Many thanks for your kind advise.



    Since May is not high season for that route, there is definitely a chance that the fare might go back down a bit before going back up. If I were you I’d try to buy no later than the middle or maybe end of March, but since the fare seems to have gone up just recently, it probably won’t go up again soon. In other words, I think time is on your side right now and you might get lucky and see the fare drop back down in the next few weeks. Good luck on this. -Roger

Kumar says:

Hi Roger,
I’m living in Kiev Ukraine. I plan to go to Hyderabad, India from May 2016 – August 2016. Right now, the price is $945. Should I wait to buy it or should I take the price? Thanks in advance for your help.



    Just plugging in some random dates in the months you mentioned, I am seeing fares starting at US$724 for that round-trip. So I’m assuming that you are hoping to go on specific popular dates, probably weekends. If that’s the case then I think US$945 is probably about as low as you can hope for since departure is only about two months away. In other words, the US$724 fare I’m seeing (May 18 to August 16 using FlyDubai to Emirates) is probably about as low as you can find, and it probably won’t go lower over those popular months. And if you want to go on popular dates or days of the week, then the US$945 is probably the best you can do. There’s always a chance the fare might go down a bit in the coming weeks, but I’d say it’s more likely the fare goes up from here. Best of luck. -Roger

Afnan says:


I am planning to visit to paris from kualalumpur around the week of 26th July for 4 to 5 days. Can i get some advise on when shall i purchase the ticket as the ticket price is seems quit heavy still now.



    I’m seeing fares starting at US$709 for that return flight from KUL to CDG on Qatar Airways with good connections, and I don’t think you’ll do much better than that. One challenge might be if you are trying to come back to KUL right at the end of July or beginning of August. Millions of French people have all of July or August off, so many of them get on or off planes to far away destinations right at the end of the month. In other words, if you can fly closer to the middle of the month, you might save some money.

    On the other hand, if you are seeing something close to US$709 for a good flight, I think the chances are better that it goes up from here rather than down. I just came from KUL myself a week ago and that seems like a good fare for such a long flight on a good airline. Best of luck. -Roger

Curious says:

Thank you for your article. Very informative.
I am looking for a midweek flight to Barbados from Toronto.
Air Canada has a sale on now but not for June 30th.
Should I wait like Kayak suggest for 2 months before, or you think I should grab what I get now?



    Those Caribbean airfares are tricky because the lowest prices are usually only 2 or 3 weeks out, so it can be a bit nerve racking to wait and hope. The end of June is a popular time for Europeans to flood to the Caribbean, but I don’t think it’s a huge time for Canadians, so I think you could be okay waiting. So my best guess is that waiting will end up getting you a cheaper fare. I’d check frequently, rather than just in the final weeks because the fares can drop at any time.

    The one small warning would be that if you are absolutely locked into dates and you already have a resort paid for for those dates, it might not be worth risking it. But if you are at least a bit flexible and can also book a hotel right after you book a flight, you should get a better deal by waiting. I’m sure there will be plenty of vacancies in July in Barbados, so I think waiting on that will work in your favor as well. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Wonderer OO says:


I’m looking for a ticket for Ghana for first week of July. I’ve been scouring the travel sites for the past month but there doesn’t seem to be any sales. Should I go ahead and make a purchase or wait for the 2 – 3 months suggestions.

Will be travelling from Canada to Ghana.


    Wonderer OO,

    From everything I’ve seen on long flights like this, the lowest fares have been getting earlier, as in 3 to 6 months out. So most likely you are within the best window for getting a good price, and I doubt fares will drop much in May or June for a flight in July.

    But as long as you are a bit flexible, in that you can go on one of a few different days and return on a few different days, then you might still wait a bit and see if any of the fares drop in the coming weeks. However, if you really need to fly out on a specific day and fly back on a specific day, and especially if those are weekends, then you should probably buy soon. Best of luck. -Roger







Jenny says:

Hi, Roger!

My fiance and i will have destination wedding in cancun from nov 23rd to Nov 27th. the departure site is in New york. Now the price is up to $650. I am so frustrating now because i have to book the tickets for both parents. When is the best time to book ? too many ppl involved , i can not wait until the last 2 or 3 weeks. Any suggestion ?



    This is a tough one because it’s obviously over Thanksgiving in the US, so it’s one of the busiest long weekends of the year and the airlines know they can sell these seats at high prices so they have little incentive to discount. In other words, I doubt the fares will come down for these specific dates, and most likely they will go up. My best guess is that they won’t go up soon and just keep going up and up. But still, due to the holiday involved, if it were me I’d just buy the tickets and focus on the rest of it. If you were going the weekend before or after, the fares would probably be lower and they might even go down. Best of luck and congrats on everything. -Roger

SPat says:

Hi Roger,

We have a family event confirmed for the week of Christmas in India and are planning to travel from the US to India. I have been looking at prices through and the best price I am getting is $1746. Based on your knowledge and research, do you think the prices will drop or should I go ahead and book my tickets. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated?



    Generally speaking, flights around Christmas tend to start kind of high and just keep moving up. The airlines know that they can fill the seats without real discounts, so they almost never do offer them. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Cindy says:

Hi Roger, We are planning a trip from Chicago to St. Maarten from March 25- April 1, 2017. We are going with another family (they are going a day prior). They already booked their flights for just under $600/person. I have not been so lucky to find the same deal with any good times. Is it better to snag the first good deal I find or hold out until the budget airlines post their flights? I know this could be a busy time to travel due to spring breaks. Thanks so much!



    This is a tricky one. Flights to the Caribbean are usually cheapest 2 or 3 weeks out, but Christmas and Spring Break weeks are going to be exceptions because the airlines know they can sell all of the seats at higher prices without discounting. Still, I’d bet that those fares will bounce around a bit for at least the next few months. Very few people buy airline tickets 10 months early, so I’m sure only a few seats on those planes have been sold as of now.

    So if it were me I’d keep my eyes on the fares and check at least once a week, and at some point the fare might dip a bit. If you have exact flights you want to go on and those fares dip a bit, it’s a good time to buy. In other words, I really doubt the fares will keep going up and up and up and never back down starting now. It’s just too early for those flights to get more and more expensive. If the fares don’t come down at all by, say, October, it might be wise to just buy them anyway.

    It’s always a bit of a gamble and if you are absolutely certain that you want to go and return on those days, it might be best to just buy now so you don’t have to worry about it. If you get lucky you might save maybe US$100 per person by checking every week and finding a dip. But you might not save any money, and sometimes the stress just isn’t worth it if you are sure you want to go. I hope this helps. -Roger

Mark says:

Anyone familiar with NYC to Iceland flights? Please advise. We plan to fly from JFK to KEF around 2017 NYE. How soon I should book flights? Thanks,



    You are definitely going to want to do that via nonstop flight on Iceland Air because any other option would take WAY longer and probably cost more as well. Right now I see flights around that time are US$664 RT and up on Iceland Air. That’s actually not bad and it looks like the lowest they ever offer are US$509 RT. I found that on flights in mid January, which is really the dead season, so my guess is that those late December flights are already starting to fill up so you should think about buying fairly soon for the lowest fare.

    I’ve tracked Iceland Air flights several times in the past and they seem to start low and then go up as more seats are sold, without bouncing up and down like most other large non-budget airlines. The thing is, Christmas week is huge for flights to everywhere because people are going home, and those Iceland flights are part of a busy route between the US and the rest of Europe. And NYE is also fairly popular as well. If you can go in early December or any time after January 10 or so, you can probably get it for around US$509. But for NYE week, you’ll pay more, and most likely the fares will eventually go up from here without going down in between. Best of luck. -Roger

      Jessica hanchett says:


      I have recently won two tickets to the Bahamas. But Im not going to have the money to go. And will have to use them within 30 days. But I’m not sure how much the tickets really are to sell them. Any suggestions?



        The value of the tickets would obviously depend on the starting point. If they are from, say, Miami to Nassau, then they aren’t worth much, and you could easily check the value by checking current airfares between those cities. If they are from New York to Nassau they would be worth a bit more. But really the problem is that some airline tickets are non-transferable, and others require a fee that can be up to US$200 per ticket to change the name on them, so there isn’t much of a resale market for plane tickets.

        If you have a voucher that hasn’t yet had a passenger name put on it, it could be worth a bit less than the current price of airfare from whatever departure city to the Bahamas. Check for the most accurate prices. -Roger

Ray cerny says:

What is a good time to buy a ticket from New York to Puerto Rico (any airport) if I want to travel from Dec 23rd or 24th 2016 to Jan 1st or 2nd 2017?



    Those are extremely popular travel dates for the busiest week of the year in Puerto Rico, so you should shop and buy as soon as possible. The airlines know they can sell every seat on those planes at high prices, so they have no incentive to lower them to fill them a bit sooner. The fare probably won’t start going up much for a couple more months, but I doubt it will go down at all, so buy as soon as you can. -Roger

Matt says:

Hi Roger,

We are planning on visiting family in Savannah around the end of July and return 2/3 weeks later. I had seen flights last week around the £530 price which we thought was great, but having come back to look at flights again to book they have shot up to over £1000! Any idea why and will they go back to what they were last week anytime soon. we just cant afford go at that price.




    Assuming you are starting from London (or elsewhere in the UK), this is a tricky one. It’s very unusual that fares would nearly double about 7 weeks before a flight, but I think it would be equally unusual to have the fares go all the way back down to £530 for a July flight bought in mid June. My best guess is that the fare might drop back down at least a bit, or at least it shouldn’t keep going up from here anytime soon. But it’s hard to say.

    I just ran fares on some dates in the range you mentioned, and I’m seeing the lowest fares at around £900 return, and those are for flights on Wednesdays both ways. At the moment, that is probably about the cheapest you’ll find, and it may not drop below that as the dates draw near.

    Another unfortunate thing about this is Savannah is one of several small airports in part of the US where the only large airport is Atlanta, and Atlanta is always strangely expensive because it’s almost completely monopolized by Delta and its partners. Sorry to say, I think chances are low that flights on those dates will go below £800 from here on out, although it is possible. Best of luck. -Roger

Joanne says:

We are traveling to a resort in Jamaica from Dallas in August (set dates). We have been looking at airfares for the past few months and the prices are high (over $700 for coach, with AA), do you think they will come down at all or should we just bite the bullet?



    I just checked for flights from DFW to Montego Bay leaving in about two weeks and returning a week later. The cheapest fare I see is US$561 RT, but that’s on Spirit, so the fees would add quite a bit, and the legroom is horrible. American offers a US$783 RT on those dates, which is also nonstop, unlike the change in FLL on Spirit.

    So long story short, unfortunately that seems like the going rate for those flights. I’m a bit surprised because that does seem quite high, as you can fly to Ireland for not too much more. August is a fairly busy month in Jamaica as well, although mostly with Europeans. Since you have fixed dates, and especially if those are popular weekend flights, I think the chances of fares coming down are low, and they might even go up a bit more if you don’t book soon. My best guess is that they’ll stay around this price for a while, but since it seems unlikely that they’ll go down, I’d buy soon if I were you. Sorry for the bad news. Have a great trip. -Roger

Charity says:

Hi Roger, when would be the best time to buy tickets at the lowest price from Brisbane, Australia to Entebbe, Uganda (East Africa) for travel date 30th December? Are the fares cheaper now or would they be cheaper in say October? (It will be summer in Australia at that time and most African students, expats and other people travel to Africa for the holidays in December).




    I’d start checking those fares now, and probably try to buy within the next month or so, especially if you see a fare drop. The main factor at play is that December 30 is a really popular travel date around the world, as people are going home for the holidays, or returning from holidays. During periods like that, the airlines know that they can fill all the seats at fairly high prices, so it’s very rare for them to run sales. On the other hand, I doubt the fares will go up much until August or September, so you might have a bit of time to work with. Good luck on this. -Roger

Grace says:

Hi Roger, I think I’ve come across your site for every vacation I’ve ever went on where I had to buy plane tickets 🙂 So here I am again asking another question. I’ve started planning a large group vacation to Iceland for either mid or late September of next year, flying either out of Los Angeles or San Diego (where most of us live).

I’ve checked some random months here and there since September isn’t even available yet. I’ve checkeda Icelandair and WOW Air, and they seem very high, priced at almost $900 to $1200 for Icelandair, or near $800 for WOW Air (with the added fees). Should I wait to see if Icelandair has better deals, or would it be best to stick with WOW Air once those months open up? I’m also a bit stuck given that accommodation is so hard to book in Iceland around the Ring Road (especially with a larger group). I’m stuck wondering if it is best to go ahead and book hotels (with cancellation) before flight and wait until plane prices fall down …. or do you think it is moot?

I know WOW Air just opened up the West Coast leg here this year, so there is no historical data for this, but I thought I’d ask you, the expert 🙂 Thanks again!

Kim says:

Hi Roger, I am flying from Richmond, VA to Cancun 10/22-10/2. The flights keep increasing and I’m trying to decide if I should book our wait to see if the price drops. Do you think it will come down? When should I book? Thank you!



    Your dates are a bit confusing, but assuming you are referring to late October, I think chances are very good that the fares will drop again. Not counting major holidays such as Christmas and Easter and such, fares to the Caribbean are usually cheapest only 2 or 3 weeks out. Of course, that’s a rule of thumb and not a guarantee, but late October is one of the slowest times of the year in that area, so I’d wait if I were you.

    Another thing I’d suggest is check those same flights for dates leaving 2 or 3 weeks from now, and try out some other dates in between. If the fares are lower for the flights coming up shortly, you will probably see those fares or lower for your dates (because July and August are more popular than October in Cancun). However, if the flights for dates in July, August, and September, are all the same or higher than what you are seeing for October, you might want to buy soon. Best of luck with this. -Roger

      Kim says:

      Oops, I meant Oct. 22-29 but your answer is still relevant. I’m going to try to wait it out. Thanks so much for your help!

nidhi says:

Hey Roger
I have been struggling to decide when is the right time to book my flight to india. i have my vacation from dec 20 to jan 20
so what price do i settle for ? and when do i book it?
Thanks in advance



    This is a tricky one because the December 20 flight is so close to Christmas that it will fall under the holiday exception, which means that buying sooner is always better. But January 20 is far enough from the holidays that that leg will probably be cheapest only about 3 months in advance. So one thing to consider is to check the fares for round-trip flights vs two one-way flights for any dates, and if the two one-way flights are the same price, you might buy that first ticket soon and then wait for the return fare to come down. But of course, if the round-trip flights are much cheaper than the two one-ways, you might want to buy both of them in the coming month or so, to avoid the holiday rush.

    If you told me your starting point I’d be able to help more, but you can check these things just as easily. In my experience, most one-way flights in and out of India (and all of Asia for that matter) are half the price of round trips. Good luck. -Roger

Raj Naik says:

Hi, My friends and I are planning to go to bangkok from Mumbai in mid november. Can you tell us when will be the right time to book the flights?



    I just checked that route and right now you can get a one-way for around US$230 and a round-trip for around US$320, nonstop, on Jet Airways or Air India. And if they are willing to stop in KL on the way they can get a return flight for US$268 on Malaysia Airlines. Those fares seem really good and it would be very surprising if they got any lower. That isn’t a busy time of year for that route, so you can probably get something around that fare for the next month or two, but if you can buy soon I’d do it.

    That route seems to operate like one that is dominated by low cost airlines, which means that fares start low and keep going up as more seats are filled. In other words, the sooner you can buy, the lower the fare is likely to be, and the more choice of airlines and connections. Have a great trip. -Roger

Kat says:

Hi, I’m trying to book a family trip from Chicago to Rome -Paris -Chicago From June 1/2017 coming back from Paris on June 22/2017 and when do you think it will be my best bet to buy tickets ? And aproximatly what do you think it will be a good price for this tickets?



    Just now I checked fares for ORD to Rome and then Paris to ORD for those dates, and I see a fare of US$1,029 round-trip on Turkish Airlines, but after that it jumps up to over US$1,350 for any other option. That actually seems like a pretty good fare, and Turkish is a pretty good airline. If you are sure you want to go on those dates, you might even think about booking that one so you don’t have to stress over trying to get a slightly better deal and taking months of checking to do it.

    Generally speaking, I think anything below US$1,100 per person, round-trip, would be good. I’ve also just noticed that Chicago to Paris and back to Chicago can be had for US$993 on those dates on much faster connections. Even if you factor in about US$100 for a one-way flight from Rome to Paris on your arrival day, that’s still pretty good and faster than going through Istanbul.

    If you’d rather wait and hope for the best, my best guess is that it would be next January or February that fares would be at their lowest for June, 2017 flights. You might get something closer to US$900 RT, but if the cost of jet fuel goes up between now and then it might be more like US$1,200 or more. My normal advice is that waiting for a fare to drop can often pay off as long as your travel dates are a bit flexible. For example, if you could go or come back a day or two or three earlier or later, then there is almost no risk of having to pay more because if the price goes up on your best dates, you can still usually lock in an alternate date. But if you are really locked into those travel dates, it may not worth the stress to spend all that time, hoping that you can save US$50 or US$100 per ticket. At some point the fare will probably go up and then it’s even more stressful hoping that it at least comes back down to where it was. Good luck on this. -Roger

Fred Azares says:

I am planning to travel from LAX to Clark, Philippines this Jan 3 2017 return January 26 2017. I was told by a travel Agency I missed the sale of only $600+ 2 weeks ago. The price of tickets went up to $988 to $1000+. Does the 11 weeks out still applies? Per magic date is Aug 23 across the board price reduction. Thanks in advance.



    There was never anything magic about the 11-week mark. As of a year or two ago, that was the average time you could find the lowest price for many long-distance flights. Your outbound flight is right in the middle of the holiday travel season around the world, so it’s possible that that leg is filling up. The return flight should still be mostly empty as of now, so there’s a decent chance that portion of the fare will drop. In other words, this is a tricky one. If you are locked into those dates then you might not see the $600 fare again, but if you can go a few days later you might still see it. If the fare has jumped like that recently, at least the chances of it going higher again soon are very low, so you could probably get that same fare a month or two from now. I wish I had better news for you, and good luck. -Roger

Norman says:

Hi Roger. I’m flying from Regina, SK, CA to NYC. At this time the cheapest round trip flight on the radar is 336 USD. I started searching back in Feb/March before I went to the Philippines and I saw flights available for $247 for a brief period but I didn’t take them yet because I had just started searching and was hopeful they’d drop some even though they already seemed cheap. As recently as 2 months ago I saw around $290 fares and still didn’t take them because I was hopeful they could still drop to the original price I saw. $40-50 doesn’t seem like a big difference but when you’re a budget traveller buying for a family of 3 it adds up. I haven’t seen them drop as low as $290 since and I’m getting desperate since my dates are nearing. Should I buy @ $336?

The date is Aug. 25/16 to Aug. 30/16. Sorry I forgot to mention in the initial post.



    I understand the predicament you are in. It’s heartbreaking to pay almost US$100 more per ticket for the same seat you could have bought not long ago. If you have it narrowed down to one flight, or one combination of flights to NYC, then I think you should buy soon. In fact, when I check those dates the cheapest I see is US$399 on Westjet and Delta. And I checked for flights leaving a week earlier, and they are starting at US$431. In other words, since August is one of the busiest flying months of the year, those planes are probably filling up, which is why the fares are marching higher. I hate to say it, but most likely the longer you wait the more expensive they’ll go. Best of luck on this. -Roger

Anita says:

Hi Roger,

I’m going to Bend, OR for a week, flying out of Savannah, GA the first weekend in August. The cheapest option right now is around $618 from Saturday to Friday. Should I go ahead and buy now? Or do you think somehow the fair could dip even a little, even though departure is less than two weeks away? I’m pretty sure I know the answer, but wasn’t sure if you might have nay insight with a cross country routing like this. 🙂



    Your hunch is probably correct. It’s possible that the fare will dip, but it’s unlikely at this point. Early August is one of the busiest times of the year for flights, so chances are that the planes are mostly full already. As such, there is no incentive for the airlines to drop fares when they can fill the remaining seats at higher prices.

    Also working against you is that you are going from one small airport to another small airport across the country. I imagine you’ve already compared fares out of PDX and/or into ATL, although neither of those airports is known for cheap flights either. You are probably stuck with that higher fare. Good luck. -Roger

Vijay says:

I am planning to visit San Francisco on 2nd Nov’16 and return on 24th Nov’16. My departure City is New Delhi or Mumbai, which ever is cheap. I am travelling with My family (2 adult and 1 Infant). Please suggest right time for flight booking. My dates are flexible for +/- 4 days.



    You are already only a bit over 3 months from your dates, so you’ll want to be ready to buy soon. On longer flights like this, the fares tend to be lowest about 3 to 5 months out, so if you wait much longer you are more likely to see the fares go up than down. Fortunately, those should not be overly busy travel dates, so you should be able to get a good deal. Have a great trip. -Roger

shail says:

Hey Roger, thanks for a very informative article!

We’re (self+spouse) planning to visit India starting a week before Christmas (flexible dates) from LAX and return in about 4 weeks. Bangalore/Goa/Mumbai flights would be ideal. Would you suggest we book tickets now or wait few more weeks perhaps for the summer to end? Thanks for your feedback.



    It’s possible that fares will come down a bit after summer, but usually that starts happening by early August for tickets in the autumn and winter. My best guess is that fares won’t come down much or at all, and that they will probably stay around the same level for the next month or two. If you see a fare with good connections and a good price, I think buying soon might be best. With the one flight around Christmas, the chances of the fare going up are better than of it coming down. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Karen says:

Hi Roger,
Awesome information you’re giving to everyone! I’ll be flying Miami – Rome in the middle of December, coming back on Jan 1. Prices are still very high, around $1,500 for non-stop. It’s 4 months out now. Do you think prices will go lower? According to the seating on the flight I want, the flight is only about 20% booked so far.
Thanks for your comments,



    If you were able to come back a week later I’m sure the fare would be lower, but coming back from Europe on January 1 means you’ll be flying on one of the peak holidays. The airlines know that they can eventually sell all of those seats at high prices, so they have no incentive to discount them, even if they are mostly unsold so far. My guess is that the fare won’t change much in the next month or two, and it might come down just a bit, but it’s more likely that the next move will be up. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Shailee says:

Hello! Was trying to change my return flight on Etihad from November 29 to December 2, but the original ticket was purchased during a fare sale. They are asking for a change fee of $300 and the difference in the price of the fare. If I wait until Labor Day weekend, what are the chances for another Fare Sale that may help me with the fare difference if I change my ticket then? What are your thoughts? (The fare difference is currently in the thousands USD)



    This is a tricky one. Based on what you’ve said, the new tickets are quite expensive, so there probably isn’t much risk in them going up much more. It really depends on the specifics, but that is my best guess. So since you have a few months to work with, I do think that waiting for a couple weeks to see if the fare goes down is probably worthwhile. Based on the details you’ve provided, my best guess is that a fare drop is probably a little more likely than the fare to just keep going up. Best of luck on this. -Roger

Ching says:

Hi Roger 🙂
I’m planning to go to Rome (from LAX) December (3rd and 4th week), should I buy the tickets now? Thanks!



    The closer your travel dates are to Christmas, the earlier you should buy. The airlines know that they can sell those seats at high prices eventually if they are within the typical Christmas holiday period. So your outbound flight might be okay, but your flight home will likely be part of the holiday traffic, so I’d think about buying soon if the current fare seems reasonable. It might go down a bit from here, but it’s probably more likely to go up. -Roger

Stephanie says:

Family of 4 flying from Cincinnati to Dublin @ 11/15, then to Barcelona on 11/18…return to Dublin 11/27, then back to Cincinnati on 11/28. Should we buy now or wait?



    Since some of your flights are over the US Thanksgiving holidays, you should probably buy soon. The airlines know that they can fill those seats at higher prices, so they won’t necessarily drop prices like they might on other dates. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Mona says:

My husband and I are looking to fly from JFK to Turks from Nov 16-23, 2016. The flight were $350-ish a few weeks ago for the nonstop, but now they are $788! When is the best time to purchase this route?



    These US to the Caribbean flights are tricky because the research consistently shows that the lowest fares are only 2 or 3 weeks out, except of course for the busy holiday periods. Since you’ll be flying home on the same day that everyone else is flying out, your flight shouldn’t really be affected by the holiday.

    The tricky part is that there is no guarantee that the fares will drop a few weeks out, and if you are already booked into a resort for specific dates, it’s a gamble that could go wrong. Still, these look like dates that should not be busy, and I think odds are in your favor. Also, these Caribbean flights tend to have a certain maximum until the flight is full, and there is no way those flights are full yet, so most likely it won’t go any higher than this. If it were me and there are at least 2 or 3 different airlines or flights that might work, I’d take my chances and keep checking the fares for a drop. But if it’s only one specific flight that you are hoping to get on, it’s a bigger gamble and it may not be worth the stress. Check fares for those same flights for 2 or 3 weeks from now and some other dates, and you’ll have a better idea of what the range will be on your dates as time goes on. Best of luck with this. -Roger

David says:

Hi , Looking at Costa Rica from Jan 31 thru Feb.8 right now round trip is about 485.00 US per person . Friends of ours who have gone 5 times said they will always drop to 300- 350.00 that seems awfully low . Do we wait ? MSP to Lib



    Well, flights from the US into the Caribbean do tend to be cheapest just 2 or 3 weeks out. But Liberia in Costa Rica isn’t part of the Caribbean market, and late January is part of the high season there. I just checked for a few sets of dates 2 or 3 weeks from now and the cheapest tickets I’m seeing are US$472 RT. My best guess is that anything under $500 is about the best you’ll get for this route on your dates. In fact, I’ve tracked airfares to Costa Rica from various US airports and I’ve never seen anything under $400 from any of them.

    So while your friends might have had success finding cheaper tickets in the past, if it were me, I’d buy anything under $500, partly so I don’t have to white-knuckle it as the date approaches and fares are probably going up. Good luck on this. -Roger

Denise says:

Hi Roger,

I am going to Punta Cana from New York November 8-15. I have been watching the prices for months and as of today they are over $500. I need to book soon. When do you think the price will go back down?



    This is another of those tricky ones. Since there is nothing special about those dates, it seems likely that those flights are still half empty or even more so. For the past few years it’s been true that fares on those non-holiday dates usually are lowest only 2 or 3 weeks before departure. So there is a pretty good chance that the fares will come back down by mid October.

    The problem is that it’s still a bit of a risk if you have a resort reservation on specific dates already. Fares might not come down, and they may even go up a bit. I just checked on fares for 3 weeks from now and there are many available just above US$400 RT, but not for every date. Some are even a bit over US$600. So it’s a bit of a gamble. If you can find a fare of US$500 on JetBlue or another good airline like that, I’d probably buy it now. JetBlue starts with low fares and they only go up as more seats are sold, so those won’t be coming down. The best you’ll do is about US$419, so it might not be worth the risk? Best of luck on this. -Roger

Dave Perry says:

I want to fly Brussels-Sapporo, Japan(return) in July–when should I book?



    Since July is the busiest month for long-distance flights, you don’t want to wait too long to book this one. My best guess is that you’ll get the lowest fare if you book next January or even February. But if I were you I’d check fares now and compare them to fares for flights in April. If they are only a bit higher for the July flights, you might want to buy soon. The July fares should be at least a bit higher than the same flight in April. And they might be a lot higher. Still, they probably won’t start discounting until early next year for those flights. Best of luck on this. -Roger

Melanie says:

Hi, we as a family of 5 are planning to fly to Paris or Frankfurt in the middle of June next year. When should we buy? We are flying from Raleigh, NC to Paris or Frankfurt.



    For June flights from the US to Europe it’s probably best to wait until January or so before you start getting serious about buying. Most likely the fares will be at or near their lowest then, and they will probably start going up again by the end of February.

    It’s worth checking now though if you are 100% sure of your dates. See what fares are for the same flights in March of 2017, and if the June fares are about the same, they are probably a good deal. Most likely you’ll have to pay more for a June flight than a March flight, so even if it’s only 20% higher it might be a good deal. Have a great trip. -Roger

Mark says:

HI Roger

Flying Toronto to Johannesburg in August next year, I have noticed the price jumps for Aug/Sept flights (sometimes almost double), Why. What is your suggested best time to book? Thanks BTW – GREAT article



    Thank you. August is obviously a very busy month in the skies, and the airlines know that anyone who wants to book this far in advance, has something very specific in mind so they are less price sensitive. My best guess is that the fare will be lowest in January or February of next year. Sometimes the late-summer fares also drop in early summer, when most people have already booked and there are still many empty seats. If I were you I’d sign up for a fare alert from a site like or skyscanner, and most likely you’ll get an alert that the fare has dropped. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Lisa says:

Hi Roger. Wow you get lots if hard questions but seems like you know your stuff!!! I want to buy my family 4 tickets from NYC to Paris for mid-February (around the 18th to the 25th). Is now a good time to buy them? Thanks !!



    The good news is that mid-February is within the cheapest time of the year for trans-Atlantic flights. I just checked now and see that you can fly nonstop on FinnAir for US$449 round-trip in February. There are many other options around US$500, which is an amazing fare compared to what we’ve seen in recent years. So yes, now is a great time to book those flights, as they are offering historically low fares.

    But because of how slow that season is, most likely those bargains will be available for another month or two. In other words, you won’t get a lower fare by waiting, but you can probably get these same low fares a month from now, as long as you are flexible with your dates. If you have specific dates that you’d prefer to fly on, I’d book soon because there’s always a chance they will go up and stay up, although not by too much. Have a great trip. -Roger


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