The planning phase of most vacations usually starts by booking flights to your chosen destination. But the eternal question remains; when is the best time to buy an airline ticket? Wouldn’t it be great for our bank balances if we knew the answer to that! While there’ll never be straightforward answer to this, I’ve conducted some research and asked a few frequent flyers what the best way is to score cheap flight tickets.


Don’t book too late or too early

So we know by now that booking around 3-6 months in advance is the best time to buy an airline ticket. Provided that your chosen dates are not during popular travel times (Christmas and school holidays) you’ll definitely score a good deal on flight tickets. If you’re able to be a bit more flexible with your travel days, don’t book too far in advance as you might miss out on some of the great deals offered by airline companies. Cancelling and rebooking will incur penalties so be 100% sure when making those bookings.


When not to fly

Did you know that the Johannesburg to Cape Town flight route is one of the busiest in the world? This in itself should give you an indication of what times airfares will be inflated. Airfares to popular destinations like Cape Town are almost triple the price during peak travel times such as December holidays and just before big event days. It’s a simple case of the law of supply; higher demand = higher price. Therefore, try your best to book your airline ticket for use during ‘off-peak’ times. It appears the best time to save on flights is to book your flight for weekdays and early morning hour flights. A bit of sacrifice goes a long way!


Use social media to score cheap flights

Airline companies usually have flash sales and seasonal specials which are announced on their social media channels. An example of this is the FlySafair R4 sale which is held every year. The sale usually causes their site to crash so don’t bank on scoring a ticket! If, like me, you’re looking for cheap flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg, you should check airfares to OR Tambo airport as well as Lanseria using flight booking sites as there’ll definitely be a difference in price. It’s also a good idea to sign up to the newsletters of airline companies and booking sites as you’ll be the first to know when their ticket promos are offered.


best time to buy an airline ticket



**This post was done in collaboration with Travelstart.


Author: Gaynor

Half city dweller. Half road trip explorer. Full supporter of local South African travel!

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