When Should I Buy My Airfare?

Jason Ma, February 03, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q.  My wife and I just booked a cruise out of Miami for late November, and we still need to purchase airfare to be there in time to set sail.  How far in advance should we purchase our airfare for this cruise?  Any suggestions on when we can get the lowest prices?    We're sure that you can predict exactly when the best time to buy would be.

    A.  Oh how we wish we had a crystal ball to tell all of you exactly when the fare for your route and travel dates will hit rock bottom!  The truth is we can only make an educated guess when it might be at its lower end... and really, you can do it too.  If you keep track of the fare periods for your route's sale fares (which we handily note for you on the "fare details" page of each of our listed fares), you can watch as your dates get closer and closer.  When the fare sales include your dates, you must pounce! 

    As for predicting the future, well, we would never have guessed when fuel prices were sky-rocketing last summer and airfare was going up and up and up, that by this summer the economy would be in its current precarious state and that there'd be travel bargains galore.  This is why we can never predict with certainty what's going to happen to the price of airfare.  We'll only say that we promise to let you know whenever we find good deals, sale fares and price reductions.   And any of our more well-financed competitors who claim that they can predict the future regarding fares?  Well, let's just say that their crystal ball is not even worth the plastic that it's made of!

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