This Week Is Best for Bargain Holiday Fares, Skyscanner Data Shows

You're thinking about back to school, but airlines are gearing up for holidays.

— -- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas -- at least when it comes to booking airfare.

The week of August 10 -- or "week 33" in data terms -- was the ideal time in 2014 to purchase holiday airfare.

Through analysis of 2014 purchasing patterns, Skyscanner saw that Thanksgiving week tickets booked during week 33 garnered a nearly 5.5 percent savings, while Christmas-time flights saw close to 19 percent savings, and New Year’s Eve air travel purchased during this week saw close to 15 percent in savings as compared to travelers who purchased airfare at the last minute.

For those not ready to push the purchase button quite yet, there are other weeks that yield savings, though none quite as good as week 33. Skyscanner has identified the following:

  • Thanksgiving: Booking the week of Sept. 14 could save an average of 4 percent, while booking just two weeks prior to Thanksgiving may save an average of 3.8 percent.
  • Christmas: Booking the weeks of Aug. 31 or Sept. 28 may save an average of 12.7 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Or book the week of Nov. 2 for a possible 4.8 percent savings.
  • New Year’s Eve: The weeks of Sept. 14 and 28 could save travelers an average of 8.5 percent, and booking the week of Dec. 14 can save an average of 6.3 percent.