This way you decide the best time to book a flight

Airlines use very complex calculation modules to determine what price is low enough for a traveler to still want to buy the ticket, while the price remains profitable enough for the airline. The strongest determining factor for plane tickets is therefore demand. However, there are many factors that can lead to an increase (or decrease) in the price of an airline ticket.

Flight path: are there many flights between the selected airports or is the service quite limited? In the latter case, it will be more difficult to find a good deal. If the route has a lot of competition, the prices will also compete with each other.

Time of year: are you planning to travel during popular periods such as the summer holidays or the holidays? Then the chance of prices dropping as the travel date approaches is minimal.

Special events: Is there a special event at the travel destination, such as a festival, major sporting event or conference? Then plane tickets probably won’t drop much or not at all.

The reservation window: how far away is the departure date? If some time passes before you travel, prices can fluctuate quite a bit. The closer the departure date is, the less chance there is of a price drop.

Prices for plane tickets in 2023

Will the prices of plane tickets increase in 2023?

Flight tickets are usually put on sale a year before the departure date, after which the prize circus can begin. During the corona pandemic, airline ticket prices were dramatically affected by the sharp drop in demand. But in the past year, travel picked up, and so did plane tickets. Does this mean there is no hope for more affordable airfares in 2023? Fortunately, there are still. While airfares skyrocketed in spring 2022 and peaked in May, ticket costs have actually fallen over the past five months; plane tickets are now 17% cheaper than in May. In fact, if you were to adjust the price for inflation, tickets are cheaper today than they were in 2019. And as more and more people are expected to fly again in 2023, the price of tickets will also decrease.

When should you book? If you have your sights set on a specific destination or time frame, start tracking flights early to get an indication of what flight prices average. In this way, you can compare well and you can pounce if you suddenly see an attractive flight ticket. Via Google Flights, you can turn on notifications for price increases and decreases for a specific destination.

The best time to buy plane tickets is ultimately a combination of luck and strategy. Unfortunately, we cannot exert much influence on happiness; on the strategy. Below you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions:

How far in advance should you book a flight to get the best deal?

In short, the best time to book a flight is generally two to four months for flights within Europe. If you’re flying intercontinental, book four to eight months in advance to get the best deals. If you want to travel during the school holidays or go to a popular event, start searching and booking a little earlier – three to six months ahead for trips to Europe and six to 10 months for intercontinental trips.
Also useful is the Skyscanner tool, which provides insight per flight route, how far in advance you can best book and which are the cheapest and most expensive months to fly.

Are there still last minutes to score?

Although there can still be significant price fluctuations several months before departure, it is very unlikely that the airfare will drop in the weeks before the departure date. The reality is that last-minute deals aren’t as common as travelers might think. In general, waiting to book plane tickets will not save you money. Approximately three weeks before departure, prices increase considerably regardless of route.

What is the best day of the week to buy plane tickets?

In the past, Tuesday was the best day to book because then unsold reserved tickets were released. Unfortunately, that time is over. Offers are delivered every day of the week. However, the best deals seem to drop early in the week. Airfare typically cycles on a weekly basis, meaning the lowest prices are available earlier in the week and the highest prices later in the week.

What is the cheapest day of the week to fly?

Generally, flying mid-week will give you the best prices. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to fly. It is best to leave at the beginning of the week (between Monday and Wednesday) and return later in the week (between Tuesday and Thursday).

How do I find the best flight tickets?

When searching for flights, there are ways to play with your flight dates, filters and other search tools that can help you find a more attractive flight price. On websites such as Google Flights, Skyscanner and Kayak, you can see the entire range of flights during each month via the calendar tool. Be aware: You cannot book through these sites, so you can use it to find the airline tickets and flights that work for you, but preferably book directly with the airline.

If you already know that you want to fly with a certain airline, for example because of a loyalty membership or because of preferred routes and service, it is best to search directly on that airline’s website to get the full range of options from the airline .

With these insider tips you can find the best flight ticket for you:

How to find the best flight offer

Set a price alert

Search sites like Google Flights, Skyscanner and Kayak have a price tracking tool that lets you set an alert for when the price changes on a route of interest. This is an ideal opportunity to pursue your flight at the best price.

Keep an eye on your flight even after booking

Some airlines allow you to cancel your flight free of charge within 24 hours. It is therefore useful to keep an eye on your route via the above price alerts right after you have booked your flight. If a better offer suddenly comes along, you can cancel your booked flight and order a new one. Please note that the company therefore applies this 24-hour rule!

Filter the search based on travel interests and needs

If you know you are traveling with checked baggage or only want to fly direct, you can filter your search to only compare flights that match your search needs. You can filter your search by number of stops, flight time, airlines (useful to eliminate airlines you absolutely do not want to fly with), departure and arrival times and whether you are taking hand luggage. Also practical: you can also search for more than one departure or destination airport to expand your options and plan a flight with several stopovers where you e.g. may indicate that you wish to make a multi-day stopover at a specific destination before you continue to the destination of your journey.

Be flexible with the airports

In some cases, it pays not to book a return ticket, but to book two separate airline tickets with two different airlines. For example, it can be cheaper to fly out with Ryanair and return with Transavia than to book a full return with Transavia. You are often more flexible about the dates you can fly because one airline sometimes flies on a different day than the other. In this way, you can also depart from another airport if desired.
Another option is an ‘open jaw ticket’. You can fly to or from another airport, for example from Eindhoven to Florence and from Florence to Amsterdam, or from Amsterdam to Sydney and from Melbourne back to Amsterdam. Especially if you want to travel around, it can be useful to look at this option.

Please note any additional charges

Does a deal seem too good to be true? Sometimes it is. In many cases, a ticket can be offered cheaply because the service is stripped down. Your flight may seem cheap, but as soon as you want to add luggage (even hand luggage!), choose a seat number or change planes, you’ll have to dig deep into your pockets. This doesn’t have to be a problem if you’re traveling alone and/or don’t have any luggage with you, but for travelers who are less flexible, it’s an important thing to be aware of.

Discover cheap prices by destination

Google Flights has a handy “Explore” tool that lets you enter your departure point and search for destinations within a specific time frame, such as a “one-week trip within the next six months.” This is great for just getting some ideas for upcoming trips.

Find cheap prices per month

Skyscanner has the ‘Everywhere’ feature which allows you to search for tickets in a specific time period without specifying a destination. You can even choose the whole month or the cheapest month to be completely surprised.

Sign up for a newsletter with flight offers

Another practical way to find a good offer on flights is to sign up for the newsletters from the (budget) airlines. You will be the first to know about tickets that go on sale and new flight routes with special introductory prices.

Join frequent flyer programs

Members of airline frequent flyer programs such as Sky Team, Star Alliance and Flying Blue usually receive an email about the latest and best flight prices. This way, you can get a great deal as soon as it becomes available.

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