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I would like to book a return flight over the Christmas period from London to Warsaw, so I know it will be very expensive. At this time only a few airlines (mostly the regular ones, e.g. BA and LOT) already sell tickets for that period (it is March). How can I figure out when the tickets will be released by other airlines (e.g. cheap ones - WizzAir and RyanAir have direct connection on this route), so that I can snatch one of the first tickets at reasonable price?

Please note that this question is mainly about when the first tickets will be released, and not so much about when they will be the cheapest.

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first tickets are not always the cheapest –  Dirty-flow Mar 15 '13 at 10:35
    
@Dirty-flow, I am pretty sure they are very close for the specific route and the specific period. –  Grzenio Mar 15 '13 at 11:05
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It varies between airlines, and can also vary between markets... Also are you looking direct on the airline websites, or using travel agencies? (It differs there again!) –  Gagravarr Mar 15 '13 at 11:18
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Different airlines have specials at different times for different routes. You're going to have to be more specific for this to be answered, sorry. Closing (temporarily) until we know what routes you're flying / who you hope to fly with. As Dirty said, WizzAir can be 6 months out, while HarbourAir in Canada releases their cheapest seats 2-3 days out to fill their planes (if available). –  Mark Mayo Mar 16 '13 at 6:38
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@MarkMayo, edited. –  Grzenio Mar 16 '13 at 8:22
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1 Answer 1

Most of the major international network carriers update their schedules daily, and will release seats from 330-360 days out. Low-cost carriers, however, publish schedule extensions more irregularly, so there is no way to know for certain when Wizzair or Ryanair will release seats on a particular route. Southwest announces its next schedule extension on its website, whereas it is more of a guessing game with jetBlue.

But perhaps we can make an educated guess based on previous releases; Wizzair announced its 2013 summer schedule on the 24th of September 2012. According to IATA scheduling guidelines, the Northern Hemisphere summer travel season commences the last Sunday in March (the 31st in 2013). This is a difference of 27 weeks. The previous winter schedule, commencing the last Sunday of October (the 28th in 2012), was announced on April 23, a difference again of 27 weeks.

So, if I had to guess when this year's winter schedule for existing routes would be released, I would guess 27 weeks in advance, or 22 April 2013. But again, that's just a guess, and of course your mileage may vary.

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