|Airline Tickets- When to Buy?
||[Mar. 25th, 2013|04:18 pm]
The Question Club
I need to buy airline tickets for our vacation this summer. We are flying from Charlotte to Seattle (and back) this August. When we first looked, a few weeks ago, there were round trip fares about $350 per person. We looked again yesterday, the cheapest was $490 per person. Times 2, that’s quite a big difference. Then add the checked baggage fees… (we are taking a 7-day cruise to Alaska, so we will definitely have one checked bag each).|
This article contains several helpful hints, including:
"7. Book well in advance
While this is tough for business travelers who need to fly for an unexpected meeting, aim to book flights several weeks in advance when the prices are lower.
"For domestic flights, if a consumer books 12-35 days before departure, they can save up to 6%," says Kayak.com spokesperson Maria Katime."
I would think “well in advance” means longer than 12-35 days out. Right now we’re about 5 months away and discouraged because we had a chance to get some lower rates, didn’t take them, and now they’ve gone up. That article makes me wonder if we’re trying too early. We’d like to have our air arrangements finalized sooner rather than later, just to have one more item checked off the task list.
I know that buying airline tickets is like gambling, and nobody here has a crystal ball to know what the airlines will do tomorrow, next week, or next month. But does anyone know a good strategy? Do the rates usually go back down before rising back up again for the last-minute folks and business travelers?