Too Soon To Buy

Vintage postcard from the Isle of Capri - too soon to buy plane tickets

Vintage postcard from the Isle of Capri

Yes, it is possible that it's too soon to buy airline tickets. Here's why, and what to do in that case:

Airline reservation and ticketing limitations

Airline seat inventory is released to any computer reservation system around 330 days (roughly 11 months) prior to the travel date.

This window is an airline standard — a hard and fast rule across the board. If you find someone telling you they can issue a ticket for dates beyond 11 months out, do not buy that ticket, because they can’t and whatever they sell you won’t be an airline ticket.

If your intended flight dates are beyond the 11 month window, it will be necessary to wait to have a ticket issued.

What can you do in the meantime?

The 11 month deadline doesn’t mean you can’t get prices for your AirTrek. To get a ballpark idea of the cost of your flights for any date in the future, go to AirTreks’ planning tool, TripPlanner, put in your destinations and get a reasonably accurate price for the tickets of the trip you had in mind.

What do you if your departure date is close, but some of your subsequent flights are more than 11 months away?

If your departure date is within 11 months but your return date is beyond it or even unknown, you can buy your tickets in stages, what we call a partial purchase, that is, purchase the tickets for the first part of your trip, the portion you’re confident in completing within one year, then buy the remainder of your tickets while you’re on the road, either locally or via the internet.

Many of our clients do want to travel longer than 11 months. These people can, and often do, contact us on the road to pick up the remainder of their tickets they couldn’t buy ahead of time.

Timing your ticket purchase for the best price

It’s always best to plan ahead and buy your airline tickets as soon as you can. AirTreks normally recommends you purchase your tickets anywhere from 4 to 6 months prior to your departure.