I know, I know… you’ve figured out that ideally you need to buy a ticket 6 months (or is it 6 weeks) in advance. You also know that Monday is apparently the sweet spot day to depart or return (or was it Wednesday)… And you know what the shoulder seasons are? Are you sure?
Does it depend on destination, airline, airport, current event, and some unknown factor that the airlines have arbitrarily factored in? Yes… yes it does.
Stay with me on this: countless articles trying to help you buy tickets cheaper will swear by rules and concepts that become obsolete as soon as they are printed, because that information is also being read, interpreted and factored in by the airlines that are trying to maximize their ticket sales. So, if they see everyone trying to buy tickets on a Monday (supposedly the best day), Monday purchases will go up. If Chicago departures aren’t having a problem selling tickets to Lima, Peru, prices will go up out of Chicago but go down out of New York. There’s an algorithm going on in the background that takes this and so much more into consideration. Worst of all… its smarter than you.
Schrödinger’s Cat Buys a Ticket
This is the part that is going to really hurt your feelings… Simply searching for a ticket affects the price of a ticket. Websites take into consideration how often accounts are clicking on various offers and adjusts the price accordingly in collusion with the airlines. Search too hard and click too many times and you unwittingly confirm to the airline, the ticket is highly sought after and the price might go up accordingly.
Why Momondo.com is great
When you search with Momondo.com they give you this information ahead of time (based on previous experience). Where this website really shines is giving you a comprehensive assessment of how to buy this ticket right off the bat. They help you know the
- Best time (morning/ afternoon/ evening) to fly
- Best day of the week to depart
- How far in advance you should buy the ticket
- Best time of year to fly
- Cheapest airlines (typically)
- Cheapest route (surrounding airport comparisons)
Based on a wide range of factors (many that don’t actually make any sense) flights are in a constant state of influx and it would be unwise to make assumptions about when to book and when to fly. While most websites will only show you what prices are like with slightly flexible days (3 days or so), Momondo.com gives you a very clear idea of what year round travel looks like, based on supporting historical information with an emphasis on detailed criteria determined by you. It’s not 100% accurate, as no website can be, but it does give you a stronger idea of what to expect and help make a better decision the first time around.
Stay Smart and Good Travels