• Cheap flights require precise timing

    2010-06-21

    Navigating the airline industry can be confusing for those planning a vacation. Fortunately, there are some travel tips and tricks that can help fliers save money and get the flights they want, even at peak travel times.

    The Associated Press and Expedia recently analyzed ticket prices from the past few years to determine the best time to book flights. Prices can change drastically depending on a variety of factors.

    For example, waiting until the last minute was the cheapest way to fly last year. Airlines struggling with the recession were looking to fill flights in any way possible and hopefully profit off of extra fees like baggage charges. Many tickets got drastic price cuts at the last minute when flights were not full.

    Now, it pays to plan ahead, especially with popular weekends like Fourth of July or Labor Day. According to the news source, one to two weeks is ideal for Fourth of July. The best deals for Labor Day can be found three to four weeks in advance.

    In general, travelers should book early when traveling on a crowded weekend, because flights will be full. On the other hand, travelers headed to popular destinations like Hawaii during off-peak times should wait. Airlines usually discount these tickets to ensure full flights.

    Travelers may also want to use a flight booking service that offers a price guarantee. This way, they can get the lowest fare even if prices change in the weeks leading up to the departure date.

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