Ok so I know that rule of thumb for booking flight tickets is 'earlier the better' but I am not sure how far in advance should the action be taken. I have seen many cases where the min. prices at say 4 months before travel dates are higher than 3 months before, this I believe is primarily due to a new flight route being added or some complex airline thingy beyond me but this almost always happens. Also let me know if this is common or I am mistaken here.

So I am asking what is the time line that I should draw untill I look for better deals and book the flight eventually. I have to travel in last week June and return around 1 week Aug, I am open to changes in travel dates by 1 week in both direction and both ways.

  • The rule of thumb is certainly not the earlier the better, though they are almost guaranteed to go up rather than down within about 21 days of departure. The price of a seat on a flight shifts constantly these days. You can find some historical data on when prices may spike for a particular route using Bing Travel or the like, but airlines constantly adjust their algorithms to maximize revenue. If you think the current price is reasonable, book it. – choster Mar 7 '13 at 2:33
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    It depends a lot on which route, what time of day ('rush' hours for example are relatively stable), airlines, and seasons (Christmas can be all over the place, for example). However, we have a fantastic question that covers this theory to some extent, which I'm marking this question as a duplicate of (failing that, it'd be closed as too broad - see faq), and hopefully that'll be of some use. The best rule of thumb generally is - if you can afford the current price and are ok paying that, book it. – Mark Mayo Mar 7 '13 at 2:50
  • and of course it depends heavily on the urgency to travel at a specific time and date to a specific destination. If I MUST be in at SEATAC on 3 September 2013 at 07:15 but can't take earlier flights than the one closest before that arrival because of whatever that I know will be a factor and I know that now, I'd best book now as the flight may well be full if I book later. – jwenting Mar 7 '13 at 7:16