Engineers analyzed average roundtrip airfares on Google flights between August 1, 2017, and August 1, 2022, for six- to nine-day trips and 13-16-day trips departing from 4,000 markets in the U.S. .
The rules of flying like a decent human
James Byers, product manager for Google Flights, says they hope their findings answer users’ top questions, such as when to start shopping, particularly as they consider Thanksgiving and Christmas travel.
“We know that this year’s holidays are very important to many travelers who may have had to skip them in previous years,” Byers said.
Of course, the findings are not ultimate truths; they are patterns. The best thing you can do is set up price alerts in advance and take advantage of good rates when they become available.
How do you get those $49 flights? There is always a catch in airline sales.
Data from Google Flights showed that domestic flight prices have generally been lowest between 21 and 60 days in the past. Those prices tend to bottom out around 44 days before liftoff.
Look for flights that depart in the middle of the week instead of on the weekends. Early week flights are 12 percent cheaper than weekend flights, and Sundays are especially expensive.
If you’re willing to take a little longer to get to your destination, opt for a layover to find a better deal. Nonstop fares have been 20 percent higher than nonstop fares.
Try to get ahead of your European travel plans. Prices are lowest between 50 and 179 days before takeoff. The best of those offers tend to appear 129 days later.
7 vacations in Italy that mark all travel styles
For Mexico and the Caribbean
Set your shopping window to travel to Mexico and the Caribbean between 37 and 87 days. The lowest prices were found about two months after release.
For Thanksgiving and Christmas
For Thanksgiving and Christmas, they looked at trips leaving earlier and returning after the holidays. The results showed that you don’t need to block something a year in advance, but you shouldn’t wait until the last minute.
Look for domestic Thanksgiving flights 36 to 74 days in advance. The lowest prices were found 52 days earlier.
For domestic Christmas travel, price drops have occurred within the 20 and 88 days before the holidays. early. The lowest average prices appeared 22 days earlier, though it can be stressful to wait until December to book.
The spring break data was taken from trips that began in March or April, and showed that domestic travelers should book flights between 23 and 59 days (nearly two months) before their trip. Google Flight trends show that they tend to reach their lowest price within 38 days.
Google Flight engineers calculated summer data for trips that started in July or August. Their results found that flight booking for those months is lower by an average of 21 days.