To Connect or Not to Connect
There are so many questions that come up when booking air travel. When is the best time to book? Is a direct flight always more expensive than a flight with connections? Where can I go to find the best pricing on flights?
At Rocketrip, we are working hard to analyze our data set, helping our customers make smarter decisions and making the answers to these questions easier to find.
A recent article in the Huffington Post provided the magical timeframe of 54 days in advance to book a flight, with the caveat that it is dependent upon the destination. The article also advised against booking a flight within 13 days of departure. “The researchers found that, on average, a ticket was at its highest price on the day before the flight. The second-highest price was two days before the flight, the third-highest was three days before… and so on, all the way to 13 days before the flight.”
Business travel can’t always be booked as far in advance as personal travel. It’s unpredictable at best. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be thinking the same way when you book both types of travel. Our goal is to find answers that will help the business and personal traveler in everyone.
Preliminary research on prices for round-trip flights on some of Rocketrip’s more popular destinations (New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Columbus, OH and Philadelphia) from the last months indicate that you can find lower fares when you can book 14 – 21+ days in advance. This may seem obvious, but here’s what’s really interesting: the data suggests that when booking in advance of 14 days, the price difference between a non-stop flight and a flight with one or more connections is negligible! The only route to date that we’ve found that conflicts with this information is New York City to Columbus, where non-stop flights generally seem to be less expensive.
Additionally, our data suggests that it’s only when a flight is booked 13 days or less before departure that the prices rise and that flights with connections become less expensive than direct routes.
There are plenty of online sites (like Expedia, Kayak, Hipmunk, Travelocity and Priceline etc.) to help you find the best deals on flights. Rocketrip recommends checking out different ones and comparison shopping.
We know that you as a traveler are doing all you can to be the smartest about your travel choices. We are here to help in any way we can.