Travel

When to buy plane tickets?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 27th, 2013 9:37 pm
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Sr. Member
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Feb 27, 2008
586 posts
22 upvotes

When to buy plane tickets?

Hi guys,

If I am planning to fly to Asia for 2.5 weeks in the beginning of May, when would be the best time to catch cheap plane tickets? I am planning to buy them end of January, but don't know if that is too early.
9 replies
Jr. Member
Oct 23, 2013
161 posts
19 upvotes
What city? It'll depend on which airlines we're talking about.

It's really hard to predict prices.

Airlines base their prices on how they see passengers plan their trips. They're going to be better at figuring out how much you're willing to pay, then any one of us will be at figuring out how to outsmart them.

When you know the dates you want to fly, that's the best time to book.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Feb 27, 2008
586 posts
22 upvotes
polar2 wrote:
Dec 26th, 2013 9:46 am
What city? It'll depend on which airlines we're talking about.

It's really hard to predict prices.

Airlines base their prices on how they see passengers plan their trips. They're going to be better at figuring out how much you're willing to pay, then any one of us will be at figuring out how to outsmart them.

When you know the dates you want to fly, that's the best time to book.
Thanks, I'm planning to go to Taiwan. I don't care which airline since I'll eventually be using a site like Expedia, and am OK with layovers as long as they're not unreasonably long.
Banned
Sep 29, 2012
1269 posts
93 upvotes
Toronto
For some reason, when I bought tickets to New York - the Amex travel site was a solid $50 cheaper than Expedia.ca
Save. Save. Save.
Spend. Spend. Spend.
Banned
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Feb 15, 2008
26318 posts
3155 upvotes
Calgary
Big fare war going on for Canada-Asia right now, with China Southern, Air Canada, Cathay, etc., adding a lot of capacity in the past year (ie: AC with the high density 777 -- 463 seats apparently, more than the 392 that Canadian Airlines used to comfortably fit into the 747-400!).

Prices follow some sort of weird curve. Booking a far time out typically gives you not a good price. Then in the intermediate term, there's sales. And then as you get closer to the flight, prices go up to rope in maximum revenue from the business travellers. And then in the last 14 days, prices typically go down for the first 10, and then go up severely for last minute. Although if you're willing to do things like Priceline bidding, it might be possible to find cheaper flights.
TodayHello wrote:
Oct 16th, 2012 9:06 pm
...The Banks are smarter than you - they have floors full of people whose job it is to read Mark77 posts...
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
1397 posts
178 upvotes
Western Montreal
Seems like prices are pretty good right now... found one on Kayak for 1156 CAD from the 5th thru the 22nd of May

Outbound: Mon, May 5, 2014 · 1 stop Total flight time: 21h 25m

Air Canada Flight 15

Take-Off Mon 10:00a YYZ Toronto, Canada
Landing Tue 1:15p (+1 day) HKG Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Economy · Boeing 777-200LR
15h 15m
Layover HKG Hong Kong, Hong Kong 4h 25m

Eva Airways Operated by Hong Kong Airlines Flight 2892
Take-Off Tue 5:40p HKG Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Landing Tue 7:25p TPE Taipei, Taiwan
Economy · Airbus A330-200
1h 45m

Inbound: Thu, May 22, 2014 · 1 stop Total flight time: 19h 55m

All Nippon Airways Flight 1084
Take-Off Thu 8:45a TPE Taipei, Taiwan
Landing Thu 12:55p NRT Tokyo, Japan
Economy · Boeing 767-300
3h 10m
Layover NRT Tokyo, Japan 4h 55m

Air Canada Flight 2
Take-Off Thu 5:50p NRT Tokyo, Japan
Landing Thu 4:40p YYZ Toronto, Canada
Economy · Boeing 777-300ER
Total: $1,156.28
incl. taxes and fees
Prices quoted in CAD
Deal Addict
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Mar 23, 2008
3753 posts
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Toronto
I always get my ticket prices from sky scanner and Google flights. Both websites have excellent tools on how to find the lowest airfares.

I'm going to Hong Kong in April and bought a direct flight from Toronto to Hong Kong for 1470$ from Air Canada. Cathay Pacific had the same prices ad Air Canada but I have had nothing but bad experiences with CP so I chose AC.
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Oct 25, 2009
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Moncton
Sales only work if you are on the fence about going or not or are flexible on your destination or really, really flexible on your dates. Prices for departure points can also vary widely. An overnight bus trip to New York City could save you hundreds. Or not. It depends. I flew to Tokyo and Hong Kong for $650 return out of Burlington, Vermont. Seemingly completely random pricing.

Use Google Flights (warning it is addictive).
Clicking on "Thanks" is appreciated.
Pete_Coach and Armeee are on my ignore list.
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Feb 27, 2008
586 posts
22 upvotes
MonctonMan wrote:
Dec 27th, 2013 11:13 am
Sales only work if you are on the fence about going or not or are flexible on your destination or really, really flexible on your dates. Prices for departure points can also vary widely. An overnight bus trip to New York City could save you hundreds. Or not. It depends. I flew to Tokyo and Hong Kong for $650 return out of Burlington, Vermont. Seemingly completely random pricing.

Use Google Flights (warning it is addictive).
OK, I'm pretty flexible on dates ... Will check out Google Flights.

Thanks for all your input!
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Oct 13, 2003
1326 posts
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NEMESIS_2008 wrote:
Dec 27th, 2013 1:55 am
I always get my ticket prices from sky scanner and Google flights. Both websites have excellent tools on how to find the lowest airfares.

I'm going to Hong Kong in April and bought a direct flight from Toronto to Hong Kong for 1470$ from Air Canada. Cathay Pacific had the same prices ad Air Canada but I have had nothing but bad experiences with CP so I chose AC.
+1 Google flights is really good. I've used them a few times already and haven't been disappointed so far.
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