Is there any benefit from early booking: when is it better to take tickets for the holidays


Most passengers buy air tickets for the New Year holidays no more than six months before departure. There are not many regular sales with greater booking depth. Those who buy more than six months in advance rarely save, since offers are not available from all airlines.

Those who bought tickets to Europe in 2018 to travel for the New Year 2019, when booking 3-6 months in advance, could cut their flight expenses by about half compared to those who took tickets at the last moment. It was profitable to buy tickets to non-CIS countries in six months.

At the same time, those who flew in Russia did not benefit much from early booking: the difference between a purchase 4 months before departure and less than a month was less than 1%. And those who bought tickets in 5-6 months overpaid.

It is worth noting that all destinations behave slightly differently each year, depending on demand and the speed of ticket redemption. You should also take into account the possibility of price changes due to sharp jumps in the ruble exchange rate against foreign currencies.

It was more profitable to buy tickets for the New Year 2020 to Europe and foreign countries in just 4 months. Savings in comparison with planning at the last moment reached 25-33%. The most favorable period to book tickets to neighboring countries was 3 months before the trip. Thus, it was possible to save 11.4%.

But in Russia it was most profitable to buy tickets in less than a month, or 4 – 5 months. At the same time, when making a purchase in 6 months, travelers overpayed by almost 28%, and with an even earlier booking, the overpayment reached 77%.

According to the bookings for the New Year’s holidays 2019 and 2020, you can see that the peak dates in prices fall on departures until the New Year: the most expensive thing is to fly somewhere in Russia from December 26 to December 31 .

Obviously, many people take extra days off to celebrate the holiday away from home, and this affects the average price level. In the first days of January, it becomes more profitable to travel, and on January 1 it is cheaper to fly than on the 2nd or 3rd.

The May holidays

Analysts also looked at how to change prices for holidays in May 2019 and took up the period from 1 to May 12 , as the output between 1 – 5 on May and 9 – 12 on May there were only 3 working days due to which many people could extend their stay …

For the May holidays of 2019, it was most profitable for traveling in Russia to buy tickets in more than 6 months (this could save 9.2%). Or already it was worth waiting for a month before the holidays. When buying 4-6 months before departure, there was a risk of overpaying 15-25%.

A profitable slot for buying tickets to neighboring countries was 6 months (savings – 17.2%) or already 2 – 3 months before the trip. It was unprofitable to buy strongly in advance: compared to a month’s purchase, the overpayment was a quarter of the average check.

It was most profitable to buy tickets to Europe 5 months before the trip, but in general, the spread of the average bill when buying for 4-6 months was about 1,000 rubles.

The most expensive tickets in the area of the May holidays were on the date prior to the holidays themselves – 26 – 27 on April , 30 April , as well as directly to May 1 .

After May 3 prices began to decline: in a few days they were even lower than the average level of 1 – 25 on April . The most favorable dates for flights from Moscow were May 6 and 7 (but these were working days between two long May holidays and it was possible to take advantage of the benefits only by taking additional vacation days).

November holidays

There were not very many bookings for the November holidays for 5 months or more in 2019, so it is worth considering the benefits when buying tickets 4 months in advance or closer to the travel dates. It was profitable to buy tickets in Russia about 2 months before the trip, then you could save 7.3% compared to buying at the last moment.

It was unprofitable to buy tickets in 5 months, the average check was one third higher than for those who took tickets in less than a month.

The most favorable time for buying tickets to neighboring countries was 4 months in advance. Those who did so paid for the ticket half as many travelers who bought tickets a month or two before the trip. 

In Europe, favorable prices were for 5 months, but there were few such purchases, and those who waited an extra month, in principle, did not lose much (the difference on the average check is less than 300 rubles). But it was already unprofitable to wait further, prices began to rise.

Those who bought tickets 4 months in advance saved about a third of the ticket price compared to those who postponed their purchase until the last moment.

As for non-CIS countries, some buyers were able to take advantage of very advantageous offers 6 months before the trip, but there were few of them. For the bulk of buyers, the best time to book was 3 months before the trip.