Is it a good idea to buy international air ticket on the same day you want to travel?
No it’s not a good idea. 6 to 8 weeks prior to your departure date is the best window to buy the cheapest tickets – add at least 2 more weeks for international flights.
The closer you get to the travel day, the more expensive the tickets will be, particularly within the last fortnight.
However, although it is true in the vast majority of cases, you might realize that sometimes, a last-minute booking can turn out to be less expensive than the regular price. To understand why, you have to consider the different components of a ticket’s price.
The main ones are the base fare, taxes, airport fees and fuel. Depending whether you fly low-cost or not, your ticket price will also include food onboard, seat selection, additional luggage and other service fees. The main components are fixed costs for the airline, that need to make sure these expenses are at least covered: otherwise the flight would be a net loss.
In cases when the plane seats are not entirely sold and that the revenues from the tickets sold do not cover the expenses, you might find some seats sold at a cheaper price to encourage people to proceed to an impulsive purchase (last-minute).
Keep in mind though that they do not like to do so by fear of encouraging people to wait for last-minute tickets. Some airlines would rather let some of their flights take off with empty seats knowing it would be a loss in revenue for them. So I wouldn’t bet my next holidays on this kind of hope!
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