Empty seats in an airplane

If you are ready to hop on a plane to see your Aunt Jane in Des Plaines, Illinois or jump aboard a flight to see Dwight Yoakam in concert in Birmingham, Alabama, then you need to learn how to find the cheapest plane tickets in North America.

When to Buy Your Airplane Tickets for North America Travel

After doing number crunching on over 5 million tickets, the cheapest day to book your flight is 54 days ahead of when you intend to fly. As a general rule, airlines price tickets 11 months out and they tend to leave the prices alone until they are six months away. Many travelers pay about a $50 premium during this time, but they get the best time slots and plane seats. Starting at about 177 days before a flight, airlines tend to cut prices by about $33. The best prices are usually found from 21 to 105 days before the flight with many airlines cutting prices another $50 off their already reduced fare. If you miss this booking window, then prices start to climb again. Do not wait until you have only a few hours because you will pay the highest price for your ticket with many airlines adding up to $250 to the ticket price.

Go Incognito

When you start looking at a particular route, the airline puts a cookie on your computer. The next time that you look at that flight, the price will normally have gone up just a little. Keep looking and the price may continue to rise slightly each time because the airline sees this as a sign that you are really interested in that ticket. Smart computer users, however, know that going incognito allows them to look without the airline knowing. If you are using Chrome, then you can open an incognito window on your computer by simply pressing Ctrl+ Shift + N at the same time. Otherwise, you can do it under the settings tab on your computer. If you are not computer savvy, then consider heading to the public library and purchasing your ticket using their computer system or use the one at work. Otherwise, you can clear your cookies which allows you to appear as a new customer to the airlines.

Consider Discount Carriers

You can often find better deals with discount carriers. Even though the airlines have to meet the same safety regulations as the full-price airlines, discount carriers offer many tickets at a lower price.

The largest discount carriers in North America include:

  • WestJet Airlines
  • Volaris Airlines
  • Viva Aerobus Airlines
  • Virgin America
  • Vision Holidays
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Porter Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Interjet Airlines
  • go!
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Air Transat
  • Allegiant Air

While most ads that you see on Facebook giving away free ads are scams, airlines often announce their best prices on their Facebook pages. Therefore, find out which airlines serve the route you are interested in from these discount airlines and watch their pages. Someone may even make a mistake and post the wrong price, but if you catch it fast enough you can already have your ticket bought.

If you want to get the best price on your airline ticket for travel in North America, then try to purchase your ticket 54 days ahead of time. Make sure to shop for tickets using an incognito window or a different computer than you use to make the purchase. Finally, make sure to consider discount airlines.