Flights are cheapest 5 to 16 weeks out in 2019: Here’s when to book

Trying to find the absolute cheapest airfare for a trip you are planning is like playing a game that feels too easy to lose. Now in this era of ‘big data’ where many companies are able to check airfares on every route every day to calculate the cheapest possible time to buy, it’s finally a bit easier.

Only a few years ago the advice was often to buy between 4 and 6 weeks out, but things have changed and it really depends on where you are going. As you’ll see in the 2019 update below, the window for buying the cheapest fares starts earlier these days and buying about 4 months out often leads to the best deals. We’ve summarized a variety of studies below and with a quick scan you should be able to get some insight on when to buy and when to wait.

Note: This article was first published in 2012, and has been updated and revised each year as new information has come out, most recently in February, 2019.

2019 UPDATE: The data for 2018 has been similar to 2016 and 2017, but it's still complicated

As of 2019 there are quite a few different companies that are analyzing millions of airfare purchases in order to find the money-saving trends. They tend to show the same pattern, which is that buying two or four months early is the sweet spot for most tickets.

For the tests we ran below we used the very helpful tool from Cheapair.com.

Summary: Buying air tickets earlier will usually save you money

In years past the sweet spot for buying cheap tickets often didn’t start until 6 to 8 weeks before the flight, but the data from 2018 shows once again that the cheaper airfares are now usually available starting 4 to 6 months out in many cases. In other words, if you are sure you want to fly on particular dates, you can usually get something close to the lowest possible fare if you book almost half a year out.

Another interesting thing about the data is that once you reach the beginning of that “sweet spot” where fares are near their low for any given flight, they still bounce around by up to US$50 over the next couple of months before they start heading higher as the flight approaches. So the best strategy is to set an alert for fare decreases on the route that you are shopping for, and buy as soon as you get one of those dips.

North America to Europe: 7 to 16 weeks out is usually the sweet spot

The optimal purchase window varies a bit depending on your departure and arrival cities, but generally speaking if you are flying between North America and Europe then the fares will be close to their lowest about 16 weeks out and you usually (but not always) don’t have to worry about them shooting up until about 7 weeks out.

As long as you are within that 16-week window, the longer you wait the greater the chance that the fares will start jumping up for good. This is especially true for popular travel periods such as July and August. In spring and autumn you can usually get away with waiting a bit longer.

>>>Cheapest Europe cities to fly into from US and Canada

North America to the Caribbean: Book 3 to 12 weeks out

The great news is that if you want to go to a Caribbean hot spot such as Cancun, San Juan, or Nassau, you can often get the lowest fares only 2 or 3 weeks out. You can book as early as 10 to 12 weeks out and lock in the best fares, but they usually don’t go any lower than that so waiting longer isn’t really advisable if you are sure when you want to go.

The Caribbean hurricanes in 2017 won’t change anything, in case you were curious. The islands that were affected most are all small islands that only got a small percentage of Caribbean flights in the first place. The busy airports such as CancunPunta Cana, and even San Juan, Puerto Rico (which has fully recovered) should carry on the same as before when it comes to airfare windows.

>>>Cheapest Caribbean islands and destinations

North America to Asia/Pacific: 8 to 20 weeks is cheapest

As of 2016 it was necessary to book long flights between North America and Asia almost half a year in advance for the lowest fares, but in 2017 and into 2018 it seems that you can book between about 8 and 20 weeks to get something close to the lowest possible price on any flight. Generally speaking, the longer the flight the earlier that people book it, so it’s wise to book as soon as you are sure of your dates.

The good news is that you no longer have to book so far in advance to get something close to the lowest fare. The more obscure your destination (Hanoi, Kathmandu etc), the earlier you should probably book. For more common destinations such as Tokyo, Singapore, and Bangkok, you have more time to wait.

>>>Cheapest Asia cities to fly into from the US and Canada

North America to Middle East & Africa: 6 to 12 weeks is best

Another case where flight shoppers in 2019 can wait a bit longer to get a great deal than even a year ago, you should now be able to get a good fare to a place like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Cairo only 6 weeks or so out.

North America to South America: 5 to 16 weeks is cheapest

In 2019 there is a wider range for the lowest fares going from North America to South America. Many of these are not especially popular routes so there isn’t much competition on them. In cases like this it’s usually best to book early because if there is only one airline flying that route, you are vulnerable to a nasty surprise.

On short and popular routes, 3 to 4 weeks is usually fine

If you are flying on a very popular route, and especially a shorter one such as Los Angeles to Las Vegas or San Francisco, or New York to Washington DC, the window with the lowest fares is usually between 2 or 3 weeks and 8 weeks or so. Since so many people book these kinds of flights with little notice, you can usually get a very low fare even 3 weeks out.

Flights within Europe: Buy as early as possible

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

As 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.

Cheapest times of the year to fly

The trends above should be valid for flights for most of 2018 and into 2019, but there are a few times of the year that are always a bit cheaper than others. For this information we look to research from Rick Seaney of FareCompare, who has been doing this longer than anyone else.

Domestic US flights are cheapest

January 7 to March 5 (between Christmas Break and Spring Break)

April 18 to June 2 (between Spring Break and Summer travel season)

August 22 to mid December (most summer trips end and autumn is a slower season)

If you can fly in any of the periods mentioned above you are likely to get lower fares than if you fly during the traditionally busier periods.

US to Europe flights are cheapest

Before June and after mid August (summer season is by far the busiest, and it ends earlier than you might think)

Weekdays and especially Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Even more so than domestic travel, trans-Atlantic travelers like to travel Fridays through Sundays, so flying the other days will almost always be cheaper).

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.

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.

Flights are still often cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

There has been some confusion over the years about this fact, partly because some of the reporting has been about the day of the week the flight is booked rather than the day of the week the flight is taken. Some data showed that prices were higher for bookings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and lower on Saturdays. The problem with this is that most business fares are booked on weekdays and those fares are higher, and most people buying on a Saturday are leisure travelers and they are price-sensitive so they only buy cheaper tickets.

My favorite trick for finding the best fares for an upcoming flight is to check for that route on a Wednesday and returning on a Wednesday. That will almost always show you the lowest possible fare, and then you can compare prices of other days of the week to see how much more you are willing to pay to fly on, say, a Friday or Saturday.

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 flyers, 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?

In 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

This 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.

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All Comments

  1. 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?

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Marichu,

      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

  2. Mayuresh says:

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

    Cheers.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Mayuresh,

      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

  3. 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?

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Brian,

      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

  4. 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.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Janie,

      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

      1. 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 😉

        1. 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?

          1. Roger Wade says:

            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

  5. John Balog says:

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

    Thank you

    1. Roger Wade says:

      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

  6. 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?

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Lilah,

      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

      1. 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? 🙂

        1. Roger Wade says:

          Lilah,

          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 kayak.com, but I see that momondo.com 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

  7. Daniel says:

    Hello,
    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,

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Daniel,

      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 Kayak.com 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

  8. 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? kayak.com says 58% prices are rising, but i guess that’s just in the next 7 days. Thanks so much for your advice!

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Dana,

      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

  9. 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?
    Thanks

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Brooklyn,

      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

  10. 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.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      AMC,

      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