TravelPlex counselors are asked many times a day when the optimal time to buy a business ticket might be. “Is there really that much of a difference between a seven-day purchase and a 21-day purchase?”. Yes, there is, and it is the main reason companies have such directives in their travel policy.
Between January, 2017 and June, 2018, the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) conducted a study that yielded findings that supported advance airline ticket purchasing. U.S. domestic economy tickets purchased for business travel are 61% less expensive when booked at least 22 days in advance than those booked within three days of departure. An economy ticket for a domestic flight purchased at least 22 days in advance costs an average of $454, compared to $733 for a ticket purchased within three days of departure.
Most corporate travel policies reduce the likelihood of a traveler purchasing a ticket within seven days of departure by 17% for domestic flights and almost 19% for international flights from the U.S.
For business class and first class, the domestic tickets cost $1,260 and $1,703 respectively. This represents a 37% variance.
Of all domestic advance ticket purchases for corporate travel, 29% were purchased 22 days in advance. For U.S. outbound international flights, roughly 51% of those were bought 22 days in advance.