Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[TRAVEL] Why I try to book air travel earlier than later


May 14, 2017


There are many studies are out there on when the best time is to book your airplane travel:

  • 10 weeks out 
  • 12 weeks
  • On the weekend 
  • Late at night 
  • Etc.

And while I’m not disagreeing with anyone’s data here today, here’s what works for me and how I book my travel: Once a trip is confirmed, book it. And that’s for a number of reasons that I will share here.

I use Google Flights to monitor costs and usually it looks like this: 

It’s pretty much a flat line. Sometimes it goes up: 

Very rarely do I see a huge decrease from when I first started monitoring. Once a Chicago-bound flight went from $750 to $260 and that convinced me to fly over driving. So it happens but it’s rare. So that’s factor number one.

The other thing is that the longer you wait the fewer good seats are available. Being 6’4” I prefer to get an aisle seat and in an exit row when flying economy. When I book months out (when that’s possible) I have plenty of choices. When I book flights coming up in weeks or days it’s not that uncommon that only middle seats remain: 

For those reasons, I try to book as soon as possible. 

Of course the seat situation is similar when I switch to a different flight the day before a trip. But whatever the reason to switch a flight was usually outweighs a middle seat.

When I book first class – where there’s no middle seat – a similar concept applies. I still prefer aisle seats over window seats. When should you consider booking first class? I always check the cost difference and sometimes it’s surprisingly minimal. 

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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