Not always long enough ... Just yesterday I was buying a oneway ticket outbound, only to find out immediately after that the airline I booked the return leg earlier with has canceled the flight from its timetable.
Now I have a oneway outbound flight booked with no idea when & how to return.
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
RamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1080 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2392 times:
Whenever I take a notion... For holiday weekend trips when I know cheap fares will be in short supply I've done 7 months in advance before. On the other end once I booked an international trip 5 days out, celebrating the girlfriend's new job.
For most domestic trips I'll book during a sale if I can.
I know the feeling. I booked early (to snag a good price, ironically) for a December trip to Mexico and with the recent surge in gang violence now my friends want to change plans and go to Costa Rica instead. $150 change fee here I come.
SRQKEF From Iceland, joined Jun 2011, 691 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2385 times:
Usually 1-2 months before, but, as HT said no general rule. For example I booked my WN flight last November and flew in April (for 103 $ per person TPA-PHL-BOS) but on the other hand I flew BA 902 LHR-FRA last Feb 19 and booked Feb 13, the only choices were BA or 4U, BA's price was 100GBP but 80EUR for 4U, but BA was a 763 so not a big deal to choose Flew 4U this summer instead, from CGN to Rome
sw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6072 posts, RR: 10 Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2293 times:
I try to book my tickets as early as possible, but that varies. I have booked tickets 9 months ahead, and I have booked tickets 3 days ahead. My ideal situation would be 3-5 months, but that's because I am usually busy with work and in the rare event I can take a personal trip, I want to be sure I can block that time off and tell my work "well, I've already got a ticket, so I definitely will be taking those dates off".
Work work trips, it's again as early as possible, but that's rarely more than a month. Often times it is 1-2 weeks. Once was 18 hours ahead.
IAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4717 posts, RR: 26 Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2260 times:
I have no set time to purchase a ticket however, normally use things such as length of the flight, type of aircraft scheduled at the time and seats already taken, day of the week/weekend, and am I traveling alone or with my wife.
On longer flights I'll normally book it early on and get the upgrade immediately after the purchase and the reservation has been ticketed. Otherwise, I will purchase tickets as soon as I've figured out my dates of travel which is usually 6-8 weeks out.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
blueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3119 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2248 times:
For leisure flights, I book them whenever I decide to go somewhere, especially if paying cash (instead of miles - there's always the Any Seat mileage). Every now and then I might decide to hold off if I have a reasonable confidence a sale is coming along, such as this summer when I decided to fly off for Thanksgiving. LH wanted $4,000 in C. I thought about using miles but I decided to wait for a "fall sale" (or something) and I was able to book the trip for half the original cost three weeks later.
For work, it entirely depends on the circumstances and what our CTM expects the demand to be on the flights that we want, with the results that a few flights get booked as soon as they're available for booking (if need be, we change the name of the passenger later), a few are booked at the absolute last-minute, but most are booked between a month and a week prior to departure. The main driving factor is when the trip is confirmed, which can be months in advance, or a mere day or two prior.
When I was green, I once entered an itinerary in my calendar complete with times and flight numbers before a trip was confirmed, but that was the routing I wanted. When the trip was confirmed, I totally forgot my calendar entry was only what I wanted, and I didn't request the tickets. I ended up trying to check in for a flight I had never booked to begin with...
wilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8473 posts, RR: 78 Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2181 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD MODERATOR
I plan my honeymoon in July 2012 and I thought: get all done very early to get good deals. But so far all is so expensive and even some flights cannot be booked yet as it is too far in the future. So I guess I'll have to wait a little longer.
carbon787 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 66 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2100 times:
We generally book our flights 6-8 months ahead if we can, I've found that way we tend to get good pricing.
We're flying to Australia in 4 weeks with V Australia in their International Business class, I booked this in March this year at considerable savings of $3.5K/person return to what they are asking now!
I find that in the past we have saved these kinds of amounts and more by booking months ahead of the travel date.
LAX888 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2010, 256 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2060 times:
I tend to book usually two months ahead for shorter trips in Europe as fares are usually still ok or earlier if I know where I want to go. The good thing in Europe is that you can just go for a weekend somewhere without much notice when there is a fare sale or something and as there is no jetlag involved it's very convenient.
For trips to Asia I usually book at least 2 months ahead but this time I booked 5-6 months ahead as TK/MH had a great deal to Asia in J class. I find that business class deals are mostly much much cheaper if you really book far in advance.
However I have turned up at an airport and booked the flight 1h before as I decided to leave earlier.
airtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1519 posts, RR: 13 Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2047 times:
I only fly for leisure so I don't have any rules. Sometimes I will book a trip BECAUSE there's a promo fare so it can be a very long time in advance (up to 10 months in advance like a trip booked in july 2009 for a trip in may 2010), or when I decide to go somewhere I just look at the fares and book if the price seem good to me or wait and even cancel the plan if I can't find something great.
directorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1569 posts, RR: 12 Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1980 times:
I usually book 3-4 weeks before I travel. I usually have an idea of when/where I'm going to travel well in advance, but I don't finalize it too early. I remember this summer I had to cancel a trip to Saudi Arabia because our visas didn't come through in time. We were leaving Friday at 5 am, and by Wednesday afternoon went to get the passports back with nothing in them. Went to the travel agent, cancelled the tickets (I remember paying a hefty penalty) and booked tickets to Dubai for the following day-luckily there was availability, and they were cheap (on EK).
It's not something I recommend though, especially during the summer it's best to plan in advance.