Want a cheaper airline ticket? Book at least a month in
advance and on a Sunday, a strategy many seem to be employing -- at least in
part -- based on an increasing advance-purchase window.
Lower average ticket prices in economy class can most often be
found by booking more than 30 days before travel, according to the ARC 2018 Air
Travel Outlook Report, a collaboration between ARC and Expedia, Inc.
For the best prices on international flights, it is best to
book on a Sunday and depart on a Thursday or Friday. The best day to travel for
domestic economy varied, but Sunday was generally the best day to book the
"Despite popular belief in the benefits of last-minute
booking, in most parts of the world, no matter where you are headed, economy
fares tend to increase as departure date gets closer," the report said. "The
most cost-effective booking lead time for an economy flight is one month, or
even earlier, from the departure date."
The same largely holds true for first class and business
It appears that corporate travelers are even shifting to
longer booking windows, based on data from Egencia customers. Egencia is
Expedia's corporate travel agency.
"This indicates customers, or their travel managers,
are savvy to this book-as-early-as-possible, price-saving trend," the
Expedia and ARC, collaborating for the fourth time on this
year's report, analyzed ARC flight data from Sept. 1, 2016, to Aug. 31, 2017.