When it comes to travel many people say that there is a magical day when airfare drops and becomes even more affordable. The thought sounds amazing. A magical day in the year when airfare drops and you can get the best fares. This is a popular belief among travelers especially for trans-pacific flights. Every year, passengers ask me, “When doe the fares drop?”.
But there is more than just a magical date.
Typically, from mid-August to the End of November, airlines often release lower fares compared to those in the summer months, however there is no set magic date. On the contrary, the shift in seasons is due in large part because many students are back in school and there is less demand.
While many people believe that cheap fares can just “pop up”, the truth is, prices are based on the number of seats available at the time you purchase your tickets. The higher in demand, the higher the price, however as passengers’ book, cancel and reissue their itineraries, these seats go in and out of the inventory. Once a seat is returned into inventory, it is first-come, first served, hence why it seems like “magic”.
In addition to availability, the day of the week you depart and return matters as well. Mid-week flights are often 15 to 30 percent lower than weekend flights depending on their routes. In fact, smart travelers will often purchase their tickets 4-6 months in advance for international travel. The so called “day” should reference the date of departure opposed to the date of purchase.
During the peak seasons (June-August & mid-December to mid-January) you should plan to purchase your tickets early especially if you have dates in mind. If you are looking for a deal on airfare, contact a travel agent to help you plan and explain the average airfare during your dates – so you can quickly recognize deals when they come.
For the best fares, possible – set your dates right after the holidays for instance the time between Thanksgiving and mid-December. During these times, you will see a significant dip in prices since demand is low.
Another recent trend to find cheaper fares are taking advantages of the stopover programs during your connecting city for instance in Dubai, Beijing or Doha. If passengers can delay their arrival for 1-2 days, they will be able to save money and explore another destination.
There is no exact formula or specific date that airlines pinpoint to release discounted fares. Pricing is calculated by market trends and demand which occurs seasonally. As you plan for your next flight, start your searches early to find a price that you are comfortable paying. Don’t wait too long to buy appear as fast as they can disappear.