I get questions often from readers and I’m happy to answer them as long as I have the time. I share the ones that I think others will benefit from and this one from Ted in Denver fits that bill.
Hi there. Planning a trip to London next spring from Denver. Is it too early to book a flight now? Are there any benefits from using a flag carrier such as British Airways over any other airline? Thank you. Happy travels! ~ Ted
My Answer …
It’s never too early to start looking. I don’t recommend booking a flight unless you know what the fare typically costs and it’s below that price. Most airlines load their schedules 330 days in advance and often they don’t discount tickets far in advance since they don’t know what the demand will be like. However, you can usually find open award space, and sometimes discounted, if you book early. But not always, as the airlines like to hold back seats they think they can sell.
Whenever I’m going somewhere, I always set a fare alert (here’s how to create a fare alert). That way, if the fare drops on a particular flight or route I’m interested in, I know to pounce on it. I also set fare alerts after I purchase because if the fare drops, you will most likely get a flight credit as long as you don’t book a basic economy ticket. Here’s more on that.
As my buddy Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights wrote in his newsletter this week (sign up to Scott’s newsletter as well as mine!): “Cheap flights pop up all the time. You cannot predict to the minute or day when a price will drop, but you can make sure you’re looking during the time when a good deal is more likely to come up. That window is 1-3 months before a domestic trip and 2-8 months before an international trip. If you’re looking to travel during peak season like Christmas or summer, add more time, especially if you can’t be flexible on dates or location.”
I agree 100% with Scott. The trick is to know the fare, create fare alerts before and after booking and if you don’t know where you want to go, then sign up to deals newsletters offered by a variety of travel bloggers so you can score a great deal. RELATED: 17 Ways to Find Cheap Flights