Some good times to buy airline tickets are approximately 100 days before the flight's departure and, midweek, particularly on Tuesdays and on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. Eastern time. If it is an international flight, book flights nearly six months to one year in advance, especially during the vacation season.
Approximately 100 days before the date of departure, air fares enter the prime booking window slot. During this period, ticket costs tend to be lower than the absolute price and the fare remains so until around a month before departure. During the festive season, air fares tend to be the lowest around five to six months before departure.
The cheapest days to book flights are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Among these days, Tuesdays tend to be the best because competing airlines post their best deals on this day. This is also the day when airlines release most of their sales.
Additionally, since most airlines change their pricing for the subsequent week at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesdays, this time makes the cheaper, older fares available only for another 24 hours.
International air tickets to countries such as South America, Mexico, Caribbean and South Pacific are best bought approximately 70 to 100 days in advance. Air tickets to Africa, Asia and Europe are best shopped for 130 to 170 days in advance. During the spring and summer season, flights to Europe tend to be the cheapest around 300 days before the day of departure.