With post-pandemic airfares showing no sign of deflation, finding the best deals on flight prices has never been more important.
By knowing the right time to check prices and book you can save yourself a decent amount of cash and avoid the frustration that comes with continuously monitoring fluctuating prices.
In this article, we’ll help you pinpoint when flight prices drop so you can grab yourself a bargain online.
When do flight prices drop?
Knowing when flight prices will start to drop can save you the time and hassle of watching your booking and comparison websites like a hawk!
Generally, you’re going to see flight prices drop within 60 days of your departure date.
However, this is not hard and fast, and the time range for a tangible price drop can range between 40 and 90 days pre-departure, but around the two-month mark, you’re likely to find deals.
Are there any particular times of day when prices drop?
Any rumors of specific times of the day or days of the week are likely to be untrue.
Many travel pros have investigated this phenomenon and haven’t identified a specific day of the week or time of day where you’ll save some extra dollars booking your flight.
How much can I expect my flight price to fall?
If you get your timing right, your airfare should reduce by between 10 and 40 percent.
In reality, an airline will drop its prices by as much as is necessary to achieve high occupancy.
Their goal is to achieve a minimum price per passenger so they don’t make a loss on that flight.
The flight price drop is only a window
Interestingly, flight prices do not have a continual downward trend until the day you depart.
Airlines are very careful about managing demand and use the price drop window to increase the occupancy of their flights ahead of ramping up prices as the departure date approaches.
If you leave your booking any later than 60 days pre-departure you risk much more expensive flights.
Are there any factors that affect flight price drops?
Airlines will take a variety of factors into consideration when implementing their price drop.
All of these factors influence the level of demand for a particular flight.
Airlines have masses of data and insights to help them be ultra-diligent in offering discounts. Simply, they won’t do it if they don’t have to.
Consider the following factors as you compare the market.
Your first job is to familiarize yourself with the airlines that fly to your destination.
That is the only way you’ll identify the cheapest flights and greatest discounts.
Use travel blogs, forums, comparison sites, and social media to get an idea of which airlines offer the best value for money and when you can expect discounts.
The destination of your flight will influence the price drop you can expect.
Domestic flights are, of course, cheaper than international ones. They usually have a lower discount as demand for these shorter journeys is high.
Conversely, intercontinental flights are going to have relatively lower demand as the departure date approaches, as many people will have planned their journey far in advance, so the airline offers a larger price drop.
Peak and holiday seasons have a massive impact on the discounts you can expect on flights.
This is simply because demand will be high for journeys throughout these periods and the airlines don’t have to bother to cut prices.
Concurrent sales and other promotions
If you want to be savvy, it may be worth keeping track of sales and promotions offered by the airlines you are interested in.
However, buying promotional airfares often comes with complicated terms and conditions that may not sync with your budget or plans.
Stopovers and other hassles
In a perfect world, your airline of choice would be discounting convenient direct flights with the seating of your choice.
In reality, you may have to juggle:
- A discounted one-way flight but a pricey return flight
- A complicated schedule of stopovers
- High baggage costs added on top
- Flights at strange times of day/night
Airline flight booking software is some of the most sophisticated around
An airline website is not a level-playing field when it comes to getting a fair price for a flight.
These booking sights often have nebulous practices and sophisticated software that tracks your activity on the site.
They want you to feel pressured to buy, so often display prompts that make you feel tickets are going to sell out fast.
Researchers have even found different prices for the same flights depending on the browser used and the presence of cookies.
Save time by tracking your flight prices with Google Flights Price Alert
Did you know that Google Flights Price alert has a tracking function that can help you find the best flight prices for your destination?
If you have a Google account, you can set up automatic alerts for any price changes in the flights you are searching for.
Simply search for your departure and arrival airports and the dates you want to travel.
When the prices come up, click on the “Track Prices” push button to receive email alerts if prices change.
Using Google Flights is worthwhile as it sources flight prices directly from the airlines and doesn’t have any weird and wonderful promotions involved.
This is probably the easiest way to track prices and you can book confidently, knowing that the listed prices are genuine.
As you can see, there is a window where prices do drop for airline flights but there are many factors that affect the savings you could get.
For most flights, there is no getting around doing your homework on the airline and comparing prices over an extended period of time until you get a deal that works for you.
Thankfully, Google Flights is an authoritative, gimmick-free resource that has your back when comparing flight prices so you can track them easily for the bargain you’re looking for.
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