Don’t make these 5 big airfare booking mistakes

We talk to the folks at the travel app Hopper about some of the biggest mistakes people make when booking flights – and how small changes could save you big money!

Hopper is a great little travel app. It’s a bit different from other travel sites in that it analyzes billions of fares and searches each day in order to “predict” when fares are at their best prices. Pop in some search dates and it will tell you the cheapest days to fly and let you know if it’s a good time to book. If it’s not, they’ll alert you when the time is right.

Recently, we chatted with Liana Corwin of Hopper to hear some of the findings from their recent research into common airfare booking mistakes. Here’s what they revealed.

According to Hopper’s analysis, some of the costliest mistakes include:

You’re an Impulse Buyer (Average Cost: $46 on domestic trips and $139 on international trips). Hopper found that two out of three ticket prices will drop at some point within 24 hours of the original search or booking, with an average savings of 14%, so it pays to wait.

You’re not Checking Alternate Airports (Average Cost: $32 on domestic trips and $99 on international trips). If there’s an alternate airport, you can save an average of 10%.

You’re Not Being Flexible with Dates (Average Cost: $65 on domestic trips and $198 on international trips). In general, flying on Friday will cost you 20% more than flying on the cheapest day. In general, Saturday night stays will cost you 4% more.

You’re Booking Too Late (Average Cost: $139 on domestic drips and $529 on international trips). Gone are the days when you could land a last-minute deal because the airline discovered they had spare seats. The computers are doing a much better job of making sure that each plane is sold out (or oversold).

You’re Booking Too Early (Average Cost: $38 on domestic trips and $474 on international trips). Flights go on sale 11 months before departure, but don’t expect to catch deals more than 150 days prior to takeoff. Booking more than six months ahead can cost you since airlines set their initial prices conservatively.