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How Long Do You Wait Before Buying Ticket?  
User currently offlineSeptember11 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3623 posts, RR: 19
Posted (4 years 8 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5147 times:

When do you usually purchase tickets --

3 months before date of travel?

2 weeks before date of travel?

6 months before date of travel?

2 days before date of travel?

I usually buy tickets 2 months before date of travel...

Airliners.net of the Future
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6526 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5138 times:

No general rule here, varies with destination (i.e. distance) and competition.
Personal circumstances recently mean that I do not palnn much longer than 3 -4 months in advance.

Quoting September11 (Thread starter):
How Long Do You Wait Before Buying Ticket?

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 !
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1169 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5133 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.

Quoting HT (Reply 1):
Not always long enough ...

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.

User currently offlineSRQKEF From Iceland, joined Jun 2011, 1056 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5126 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

Nothing compares to taking off in an empty 757 with full thrust!
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 12165 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5118 times:

Whenever I get the inclination/need or see a good fare offered to somewhere I wish to visit. This ranges from 6+ months in advance to less than an hour before the flight leaves.


...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6543 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 5034 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.

User currently offlineSulley From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 558 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 5029 times:

I often list for a flight an hour or two before it departs  

In thrust we trust!
User currently offlinezrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3525 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 5006 times:

I book early, up to 9-10 months in advance, for longer flights on which I can confirm an upgrade at the time of booking.

Otherwise, 1-2 months.

17 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2016
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 5001 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.
User currently offlineLentini2001 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 4999 times:

I am going to Sydney via Dubai in February 2012 however I purchased my ticket in July this year.

This way I have managed to get exactly the seats I wanted on the 777 from BHX and the A380 to Sydney and back again.

User currently offlineblueflyer From Tuvalu, joined Jan 2006, 4939 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 4989 times:
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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...

When we unleash the dogs of war we must go where they take us
User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4628 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 2 hours ago) and read 4959 times:
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Quoting Sulley (Reply 6):
I often list for a flight an hour or two before it departs

That must be nice.

Unless there's a fare sale (like WN 's with $59 fares that ended last Thursday) I'm doing 10 months in advance for trans-Atlantic, 4-5 months for Canada and Mexico, and 2-3 months for domestic US.

Sorry -- there's nothing I could possibly want, west of San Francisco, so I've never done trans-Pacific and probably never will.

User currently offlinegenybustrvlr From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 262 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4932 times:

For personal, 2-3 weeks, or less. I save more by paying last minute fares and avoiding change fees (+last minutes fare changes). For business, 1-2 days before travel.

User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9320 posts, RR: 69
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

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.


User currently offlinetw From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4906 times:

For me it depends on when I know the travel dates. If the dates are determined, I book straight away, regardless of the time between booking and flight.

I often think about waiting for a few days and seeing how prices evolve, but that has not paid off and it is fairly stressful when you see the prices go up drastically, so I stopped doing it.

User currently offlinecarbon787 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4841 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.

User currently offlineLAX888 From Singapore, joined Oct 2010, 279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4801 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.

User currently offlineairtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1564 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4788 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.

Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlinedirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1991 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4721 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.

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