When do airlines release tickets?

October 4, 2019 0 By Lydia

When do airlines release tickets?

Planning a holiday can be stressful, but sorting everything out as far in advance as possible can reduce the stress. This is why many people like to track when airlines release tickets so that they can book their flights as soon as possible. If you want to check how far ahead you are able to book with a particular airline, go to their website. Enter flight details and select a departure date as far in advance as their calendar will allow. Most airlines will release tickets up to 1 year in advance, so you can book your flights for next year’s holiday even if you haven’t organised anything else yet. Below is a general guide to when airlines release tickets for most of the major airlines you might use for international travel.

How far in advance do airlines release tickets?

When do they release tickets?
Air France
365 days
American Airlines
330 days
British Airways
355 days
Cathay Pacific
360 days
350 days
Delta Air Lines
330 days
11 months
330 days
330 days
320 days
360 days
12-18 months
6-8 months
11 months
360 days
10 months
354 days
Qatar Airways
360 days
12 months
18 months
Virgin Atlantic
11 months
Wizz Air
12 months

How early should you book flight tickets?

The earlier you book your flight, the more likely you are to secure your specific choice of airline, date, and time. That said, booking tickets as soon as they are available – including around a year in advance – is not always the best plan. As a general rule, the earlier you book or the later you book, the more you will end up paying. Deals and discounts will usually pop up in between, so waiting for a little while could be beneficial. It is best to book earlier for long-distance international flights, around 3-5 months in advance. For shorter or domestic flights it is better to leave it no later than 6 weeks in advance. Of course, this all depends on your destination and the time of year. It is always best to book early for peak travel periods and routes to avoid missing out completely, because these will become booked up quickly.

Is it cheaper to book last minute flight tickets?

You may have heard advice telling travellers to wait for last-minute deals rather than securing an early booking. This is because airlines will often drop their prices in the days before an upcoming flight if they have not been able to fill it up. However, this is unlikely to happen for major flight routes at peak travel times of the year. It is not worth the risk to wait that long if you are counting on booking a particular flight. It is usually only worth booking last minute for a short-haul weekend trip at a less busy time. If you sign up for alerts from any specific airline, they should send you deals for that weekend on the Tuesday if they slash prices. More spontaneous long-haul holidays such as America, Asia, or Australia can be cheaper to book 3-4 weeks in advance, which still counts as last-minute for organising such a significant trip.

How to Get the Cheapest Flight Tickets

Unfortunately, there is no single cheapest day of the year to book flights. The cheapest day of the year to book your flight will depend on factors such as destination, airline preference, and departure and return dates. The only way to make sure that you get the best deal possible is to compare flight fares and continually track ticket prices. Due to general travel trends, whichever day of the year you choose to book your flight, it is best to book flights on a Sunday. This is the day of the week when prices will be lowest, whereas flights will be more expensive from Wednesday to Friday. However, the cheapest day to fly is actually a Friday. Set up price-drop alerts if you are waiting to grab a deal.