Cheap flights – can I book too late?

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Saving money in a glass jar for travel on map

Are low-cost tickets cheaper or more expensive the later you book? The answer may surprise you. It’s not a simple yes or no. There are a variety of times you can view them and they are detailed below. Also, check out our guide that tells you exactly how to get low cost flights every time, no matter when you book.

Before answering the question of whether booking too late won’t get you a cheap flight, you need to consider other timing aspects that can affect your cost.

Airlines operate like any other business. They respond to supply and demand.

During busy travel times, such as during the holiday season, summer months, or in places where the weather is nicer than where you are, airlines may charge more due to higher demand.

When supply is high, i.e. slow travel times, airlines will lower flight prices to encourage more people to fly. Cheaper flights are available if booked during slower travel times.

Don’t just look at the year. Also consider your attention span. There are slower days and busier days. Weekends are usually busier but may vary depending on the airline.

Finally, let’s answer the question at hand. Flights should be booked 4 months to 2 weeks before travel. Booking any closer than that greatly increases the cost as you will be paying for the urgency.

There is always a chance to get a great deal at the extreme last minute. Airlines may want to do something desperate, in a discounted way, to sell the last empty seat on a flight. As mentioned earlier, there are huge risks in paying a premium for urgency.

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