We know it seems crazy early to be talking about flights for the holidays — many of you haven’t even booked your summer trip yet. But it’s worth pointing out that today, June 2, was the least expensive day (on average) to buy flights for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years in 2013.
We’re betting you didn’t know that!
Of course, it isn’t likely that history will repeat itself. In all likelihood a date other than June 2nd will ultimately be crowned the best day to buy flights for the 2014 holidays. But it is still a useful occasion to remind you that, although we found that the best day to buy domestic flights in 2013 was 54 days in advance on average, for holiday travel all bets are off.
When you’re booking Christmas or Thanksgiving travel, sooner really is better — almost always. It’s not just that prices go up over time (although they generally do). It’s also that choices get worse. Whereas today there might be 10 flights available to your destination at the lowest fare, 3 months from now there might only be 2 — and they might both have long layovers in Cleveland!
We’re not trying to be alarmist about it. We know that most of you aren’t going to be buying your holiday flights any time soon. Heck, those of us here who study these things and know airfares inside and out can never seem to get it together enough to book early for the holidays — even when we constantly pour through data that tells us that we should. But if you’re reading this and you do know exactly where you’re going and when this holiday season, and you don’t mind committing to a non-refundable ticket, you can probably save yourself some future stress (and money) by securing your seats sooner-rather-than-later.
As for the rest of you, for whom booking flights for the holiday 6 months in advance is in the “aint-never-gonna-happen” category, enjoy your summer…but maybe still keep an occasional eye on the CheapAir Holiday Flight Index?