Where to Book Flight Tickets

How can I book flight tickets?

When is the best flight booking period? Frequently, the time at which you book is more important than the agent you use. From a historical perspective, January is the month with the largest number of highly reduced rate vacation package holidays offered by package tours, both on-line and off-line, selling air tickets together with hotel accommodation. Most of these packs are intended for travels between now and September, but some are only for travels within the next few weeks.

However, when it comes to buying a flight seperately, making a reservation well in advance is not always the best option. A lot of research - especially on tickets purchased by US on-line tour operators - has been done at the best moment for buying a flight, and unfortunately the results are not as clear and unambiguous as one might have hoped.

However, the overall thrust of the research provides some pointers to help travelers take full benefit of the periodical increases and decreases in air fares, both in the US and beyond. Kayak.com, the Metasuch website, researched more than a billion U.S. air fares offered for sale in 2011.

On the website, the mean fare for booking tickets six predeparture flights ($406) was found to be 9% higher than the mean fare available during that time ( $370) and 19% higher than the mean fare available only 21 predeparture flights ($342). Every experienced traveler knows that there is a tendency for fares to rise for really short-term shopping.

However, the survey found that air ticket sales one predeparture weekend tend to have been 30% more costly ($445) than two previous weekly rates. There was no need for timings on journeys to and from the USA. The tickets were the lowest 34 predeparture day tickets, but the rates ranged at an annual rate of $977, which is only 4% below the predeparture rate of $1,016 at any point in the six month period.

Now the old general principle - to book tickets three month in advance at the cheapest price - no longer seems to be in line with the latest research results. A possible reason is that airline companies expect that those who book tickets in the mornings are usually travelers who are willing to pay more.

Even the weekday on which you book tickets can make a big change. FareCompare.com, a website that has analyzed several billion ticket requests since 2007, reported that Tuesday is usually the date on which the discount rates for U.S. home flights are available. However, some have been speculating that this is a custom inherited from 15 years ago, when agencies worked from Monday to Friday and airfare analysis staff used to spend Monday getting ready to start selling on Tuesdays - early enough for clients to be able to visit agencies for the remainder of the workweek.

However, price predictors may at some point loose this custom as they adapt to the speed of the ever-open on-line tourist offices. What applies to general timings may not apply to you. Before you book a particular flight, try the Bing Price Predictor tool at Bing Travels, a Microsoft-operated website that analyzes thousands of return flights every day to find the price pattern.

Once you have conducted a quest for a national or internation travel in the USA (with at least one of the airports on the US itinerary), Bing Travel will make a forecast as to whether you should buy because you expect to see rates rise later, or whether you will be waiting because you expect lower rates. The disadvantage is that Bing's pricing forecast only works on journeys within the USA or with a US stop and travels within a few month of purchasing to or from Canada, Europe or the Caribbean.

You' ll have the best chance of getting the best offer for your flight by making your Tuesday afternoons, about three week in advance to buy US tickets and just over a month ahead to buy tickets for overseas travel.

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