A Guide to Securing the Best Flight Deals in 2024

Original article written by Michael Cappetta from Travel and Leisure

According to CheapAir.com's Annual Airfare Study, it's advisable to book your ticket at least three weeks before departure, but no more than 2.5 months in advance, to capitalize on the best deals.

“This year’s Prime Booking Window extends all the way up to about 3 weeks from your travel date. In 2024, you can wait a little longer to buy, and the window where you will find the lowest fares extends to about 2.5 months out,” the report reveals.

The comprehensive report, analyzing over 917 million airfares across the United States, warns that those who procrastinate and book less than a week before their trip will end up paying a staggering 59 percent more.

Conversely, early birds who book their tickets too far in advance, such as 280 days prior to departure, may also face inflated prices, akin to last-minute bookings.

The study debunks the notion that certain days offer cheaper fares than others, revealing that the average low fare fluctuates by less than $1 regardless of the day of the week.

However, CheapAir.com emphasizes that the day of the week you choose to travel can significantly impact the price, pinpointing Wednesday as the most economical day for travel. Additionally, midweek flights consistently offer more budget-friendly options.

Travelers are also advised to consider airlines' flexibility regarding change and cancellation fees. With prices fluctuating an average of 49 times, there's potential to rebook tickets at lower fares, sometimes saving up to $100.

Furthermore, airlines regularly roll out promotional deals and discounts on various flight routes, often redeemable through cash or loyalty miles. For instance, United Airlines features a dedicated page spotlighting ongoing offers and promotions.