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The Best Time to Buy Plane Tickets Is Almost Upon Us — Dollars and Sense

airport-board
Tim Boyle, Getty Images

With all the fees airlines have been packing on in the past couple years, it may seem that tickets are impossibly expensive.

But there are times when it’s cheaper to buy them — and those times are fast approaching.

Experts say there are two periods during the year that are often the best times to book flights if you want to save some coin: between the end of August and the beginning of September, and between the end of December and the beginning of January.

Jolee Goularte, travel manager at Align Technology Inc., says the late summer weeks are cheaper because “consumers are worn out on travel” and simply stop doing it. And later in the year, business people travel less — which drives prices lower, too.

So how much will you save? Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare, said he expects airfares to drop between 10 and 20 percent starting around August 21.

That said, peak travel times — like the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, for example — will still be pricier than you might like, so whenever possible, try to be flexible. And remember to buy your tickets a month in advance for the best possible fares.

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