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For best deal, book flight 6 weeks before takeoff? False, says Kayak

For best deal, book flight 6 weeks before takeoff? False, says Kayak
The Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Looking to save money on a flight?

Your best bet is to book your flights 21 days before departure, according to a new study by the travel booking site Kayak.com.

Over a six-month period before departure, the average fare for a domestic flight is $370, according to a study of millions of flights booked by Kayak users. But that fare drops to its lowest level — $342 — when booked 21 days before departure, according to Kayak.

But a separate study released in January said the lowest domestic fares can be found six weeks before departure.

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The earlier study was issued by the Airline Reporting Corp., an Arlington, Va., company that handles ticketing transactions between the nation’s airlines and travel agents. A spokesman for ARC said their results may differ from the Kayak study because the two companies used a different set of data collected over a different period.

Still, both studies agreed on one point: Airfares begin to skyrocket by 30% or more starting seven days before the departure day.

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Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin


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