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When should I buy my ticket?
According to researchers from CheapAir in 2014, plane tickets hit their lowest prices on average around 2 months before the takeoff date. But ultimately, it depends on timing and location. The prime booking window for plane tickets is anywhere from 4 months to 21 days before your flight. For first-time travelers, a good rule of thumb is purchasing early once accepted into your study abroad program to avoid any sudden price hikes or, even worse, no availabilities.
Are airline tickets cheaper on certain days?
The day on which you book your flight as well as the days on which you actually fly can impact the price of your ticket. Read around online for different methods to this and start checking out prices now so you have some sense of what direction prices are headed.
What airline should I use?
For first-time travelers, larger airlines—though sometimes pricier—may be preferable to smaller airlines such as Spirit. One benefit of a larger, well-established airline company is that they often offer more benefits with the ticket purchase—meals for overseas flights, select amenities, and one carry-on along with one free checked bag. Larger airlines are also more likely to be of better assistance in situations like losing luggage or having to reschedule a delayed flight.
Consider which airport you would like to fly to and from! Some airports may be cheaper or have shorter security lines, but could be a less convienent location or have complicated parking/drop-off systems.
Tip: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) now allows non-ticketed visitors to accompany travelers to their gate through the DTW Destination Pass. This is a great way to spend extra time with family or friends before departure and receive extra support before boarding the plane. Other airports may offer similar services -- check with the airport you will be flying out from!