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Why You Shouldn't Book Flights Too Far In Advance

02/23/2015 07:00 am ET | Updated Feb 23, 2015
Bet_Noire via Getty Images

Are you one of those people who think it's never too early to book a flight? A recent study disproves that responsible theory, and it'll make you want to wait a few weeks to buy those plane tickets.

CheapAir, an online travel agency, recently analyzed 2014 flight data and found that while buying a ticket too late can cost you major money, so can buying a ticket way earlier than you need to. In fact, CheapAir found that tickets are about $50 more expensive when they first go on sale, compared to their eventual low point.

According to Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com, "the low point is 47 days in advance, on average." For example, CheapAir monitored a 7-day flight from Los Angeles to New York to see how many times the price changed. About 320 days before the trip, the flight cost $357. But about 3 months before the trip, the flight dipped to $318. Overall, the price changed 107 times, going as low as $290 and as high as $597.

Rick Seaney, travel expert and CEO of FareCompare, agrees with the three month rule and not booking too far in advance. "There’s such a thing as booking too early," he told Travel + Leisure. "Airlines don’t really begin managing their domestic flights until about three months in advance -- that’s when they start releasing the more affordable seats."

So while it might be tempting to book a ticket early when trip dates are secure, try waiting until about 47 days out to finalize your purchase.

Happy travels!

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