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The cheap flight formula

Written by 16 November 2010 One Comment

Dear travelettes,

what would you say if I told you I know exactly when you should book you flight ticket in order to get the best flight? Too good to be true? You might not want to book your flight to early, because you’re no able to plan too much in advance (like me), but if you wait too long you ticket might get too expensive. I normally use the same tricks as Katja when looking for the cheapest flight, but a new economic theory claims to solve the whole problem through a single mathematical formula.

8weeks 2 The cheap flight formula

Photo: (CC) Caribb

Your new favorite mathematical formula looks like this:  ∏A = gUG + min(k – g, (1 – g)(1 – r)), if this doesn’t tell you anything, let me break it down to you. The formula was developed my economist Makato Watanabe, and does not only tell you how much time in advance you should book your flight, but also which time of the day you’re most likely to find the best prices.

If you buy your ticket 8 weeks in advance you normally find the best prices, and it is not unreasonably early I think. Just keep in mind that public holidays like Christmas tend to be more expensive, so this didn’t work out too well for me when I wanted to buy my tickets back home..

The study also found that tickets are cheaper when you purchase them in the afternoon than in the morning, because business travelers tend to book their tickets during work hours and are more flexible with prices. In the afternoon on the other hand, people looking for vacation flight can find cheaper flights since their dates often are more flexible.

8weeks  The cheap flight formula

Photo: (CC) Woodley Wonderworks

I’m planning a trip to Brussels soon, and applying the 8-weeks-rule it seems like I’ll go there in January for 16 euros one way..

Good luck finding cheap flights!

kathrinetravelettes150 The cheap flight formula Kathrine Opshaug Bakke, editor at Travelettes from 2009 to 2013, wrote this post. Originating from Norway, she has been living in Berlin, Lisbon, and Stockholm the past 6 years.

She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.

pixel The cheap flight formula




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One Comment »

  • Patti said:

    Useful information. Lucky me I found your site by chance, and
    I am stunned why this coincidence did not took
    place earlier! I bookmarked it.

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