Additionally, CheapAir.com created the graphics shown here to visualize the six, as they call them, "booking zones" for prices over the lifespan of a given ticket. Those insights include buying 203 to 315 days in advance of a trip can cost an extra $50 on average. You, of course, gain assurance that you're getting the flight you want as well as premium seat selection. Purchasing at the last minute can cost up to $220 more on average.
If you like that assurance on dates and seats, you're in good shape purchasing 202 to 116 days out as well, when it only costs an average of $20 more than at the study's proposed best time to purchase.
CheapAir.com also broke down the best time to buy according to the season, as there are some significant shifts by season in their findings. Those findings can be seen in the graphic above.
It's useful knowledge for any traveler. Though, it's also worth taking with a grain of salt. Some airlines -- JetBlue and Frontier among them -- frequently offer last-minute sales. It's near impossible to predict when they're coming, and you'd have to be fortunate enough to have your desired route in the sale, but it's one instance in which cheap fares can arrive late. Moreover, there's undoubtedly some fluctuation based on airline. But that unpredictability all part of the fun of buying tickets, right? Right?