We know everyone wants to come to San Francisco, but it's hard to pull the trigger. Here are five tips to find the best deals on flights so visiting San Francisco is that much easier.
Fares go up... and down.
Many travelers know that airfares often go up unexpectedly over time, but did you know that fares also often go down? In fact, the average fare goes up 28 times and down 25 times in the six months before departure. That means an average of a new price every three-and-a-half days. That doesn’t mean that price changes operate like clockwork. They can seem erratic, changing up to multiple times per day. On average, one in four fares that you see will change within the next 24 hours.
Observe the 14-day rule.
The experienced traveler knows that if we proscratinate too long before buying a flight, we lose out on fare hikes. But what exactly is “too long?” To be precise, we’ve observed that 14 days out (prior to departure) is by far the day that fares systematically increase, sometimes dramatically.
There's also such a thing as buying too early.
On the other hand, travelers who book too far in advance may also miss out on savings later on. Buying a ticket more than four months out for a domestic fare often results in the same price if you waited until the last three or four weeks before flying. The “sweet spot” for each airfare is different, but in general hovers somewhere in the 30-90 days out range for domestic flights.
Resist the crowd mentality.
The key thing about airfare volatility is to think about price moves in terms of supply and demand. Think about when most people would tend to book their fares, and try purchasing your airfare slightly ahead (again, not too far ahead).