Do a quick search on the web and you’ll find plenty of literature on when the optimal time to book your flight is, and the perils of booking your flight too late. While some people may not consider booking their flights more than 3 months in advance, there are quite a number of benefits of making your booking ahead of time.
Here are 3 good reasons why you might want to consider booking your flights way earlier than 2-3 months before your trip:
1. Avoid the Dropouts
This is especially pertinent if you are planning a group trip. We’ve all had that nightmare holiday which included coordinating with a whole bunch of people, and getting half the group either undecided, or worse still, have the kind that will pangseh (abandon) you at the last moment, leaving you with either a bunch of empty hotel rooms, or an awkward holiday arrangement.
Booking your flights in advance is at the very least a psychological barrier to pulling out. This doesn’t just apply to Singaporeans, but anyone who has already put a “downpayment” of sorts, in this case the airline ticket, would feel committed to a higher degree to see the trip through.
That’s also not to mention the fact that the ones who are undecided tend to wait till the last minute to commit to the trip, resulting in them paying over-the-top ticket prices and ending up angry at their indecision, and the fact that they feel bad about pulling out of the trip and thus having to pay through their noses for a ticket. A grumpy traveller does not a happy holiday make. So if you foresee this problem, take advantage of sales that reward you for booking early and lock everyone in (more on that later).
2. Lowers Your Risk of Not Even Getting a Ticket
You might be tempted to wait 47-60 days before your trip, as many travel sites prescribe, or wait for some divine sign that the stars have aligned and ticket prices are at their lowest before jumping online to book your flight ticket. But what happens if you are going somewhere during peak travel season? Or what happens if you absolutely need to be at a place and can’t get your desired ticket there
You’re either going to end up having to pay more because you can’t get the carrier or timing you want. Earlier this year, I (stupidly) decided to delay the booking of my flight to Malaysia for my Chinese New Year reunion dinner till the last minute. Thankfully, I managed to get a flight, obviously at a higher cost, but it is certainly better than upsetting your parents (especially during CNY).
If you are needing to go somewhere, or are certain of travel plans that you want or have to make, it definitely makes a lot more sense to confirm your travel bookings earlier rather than later.
3. You Can Take Advantage of Some Awesome Sales
Everyone is already very familiar with all the flash sales and weekly offers that occur with many different airlines, but those tend to be unpredictable, and given that they require travel relatively close to the sale date, they’re essentially forcing you to make a snap decision which you might later regret. Think Groupon, but, er, way more expensive.
There are, however, sales such as AirAsia’s Free Seats sale which is specifically targeted at travel at least 6 months to a year later. This is fantastic for families planning a family holiday but worried that booking their tickets now would result in higher prices.
Another upside to this is something few people are actually aware of – on these zero dollar airfare sales, you only pay for airport taxes and surcharges. In the case of AirAsia, you don’t even need to pay for fuel surcharges. However, should something unfortunate crop up which forces you to change your travel plans, these charges are refundable, which is really a compelling reason to plan ahead and take advantage of these offers.
So instead of waiting for intermittent sales, which makes for a very stressful holiday planning, there are also offers that will reward you for booking much earlier in advance. The feeling of getting a good deal AND having peace of mind that your flights are locked in? Priceless.
What do you think about booking your flights way in advance? Share your thoughts with us here!
This article was brought to you by AirAsia.