I’ve heard on many occasions that if you book the flight right before the flight departs, you can get a cheap fare. It is true or is it just another myth?
To break it down we need to understand how the fares on plane actually work. If there are 50 seats on the plane, the airline divides them into different booking class. The higher booking class cost more but it has less restrictions. The lower booking class cost less but it has higher restrictions. The ‘Y’ class is the highest in the coach class; it is a fully refundable ticket and has no restrictions. But the prices of the Y class ticket are very expensive. When you book reservation online, you will get the best price on the first page of the search section. And everybody prefers to book the lower fare. So, the lower fare gets (lower booking class) gets sold out first. That is the reason why it is cheaper to book reservation in advance to get a lower rate. If there is lesser seat on the plane, the price becomes higher because of that. So, it cost more to book flight ticket on the same day of departure.
It is advisable to book flight ticket well in advance. The flight opens up in the inventory 331 days in advance, which is around 11 months. However, it is not recommended to book the flight too early as the airlines will open up the lower booking class later on. Three months advance purchase is one of the best times. It totally depends on the destination, market, season and lots of minor factors.
Keep in mind that if there are more seats on the plane there is a higher chance of getting lower fare. Most people prefer to fly during weekends, right before a holiday and after holiday. Avoid the peak times and travel smart.
Most of the time, direct/non-stop flight will cost higher as it is a preferred flight for most people. Look for connecting flight options and make sure that the two flight have interline agreement and baggage agreement so that you do not have to uncheck and check in your bags in the layover airport.
It is advisable to travel light, as most of the airlines have now introduced basic economy fares. These are highly discounted fares, but carry-on bags are not allowed in this class of service. You can carry a personal item (backpack, Knapsack or laptop bag) under 45 linear inches, as it has to fit the overhead bin or the seat in front of you.
Compare price with travel agency, as airlines have authorized discounted fares and bulk fare with the travel agency. Most of the time you will be able to get negotiated rates and unpublished rates, and if you are lucky you will get a huge discount (except the basic economy fares).