How Far In Advance Can I Book A Flight? A Chart Of Each Airline’s Policy
Wondering how far in advance you can book a flight? The answer is “it varies”. It varies based on the airline and also the type of ticket. Are you paying cash? Booking with miles? Is there a partner airline involved? All of those factors can shift how far in advance you can book a flight. I reached out to a bunch of airlines to ask about their timeframes. Here are their answers.
How Far In Advance You Can Book A Flight
Airline by airline, in alphabetical order, these are the answers. The timeframes are from the airlines’ social media channels after I contacted them. I’ve separated them into 3 categories: “cash” for cash tickets, “award” for booking with miles, and “partner” for award bookings involving a partner airline.
|Aer Lingus||330 days||330 days||330 days|
|Air Canada||361 days||360 days||partner load inconsistent but goal is 360 days|
|Air France / KLM||335 days||335 days||whenever the partner loads the information into AF/KLM website|
|Alaska Airlines||330 days||330 days||330 days|
|American Airlines||330 days||330 days||330 days or when the partner shares the information|
|ANA||355 days from final leg||355 days from final leg||355 days or when the partner makes it available|
|Asia Miles / Cathay||360 days||353 days||depends on partner, typical 350+|
|Asiana||361 days||361 days||when the partner makes it available|
|Avianca / LifeMiles||1 year||1 year||1 year|
|British Airways||355 days||355 days||355 days|
|Delta Air Lines||332 days||332 days||varies "depending on the route and the marketed airline"|
|Emirates||330 days||330 days||330 days|
|Etihad||11 months||11 months||11 months|
|EVA Air||360 days||360 days||when partner makes it available|
|Finnair||11 months||11 months||11 months|
|Frontier||1 year||1 year||n/a no partners|
|Hawaiian||330 days||330 days||330 days unless partner hasn't provided yet|
|Iberia||355 days||355 days||355 days|
|JAL||360 days from final leg||360 days from final leg||when final leg is made available by partner|
|JetBlue||11 months||11 months||11 months|
|Korean Air||361 days||361 days||when made available by partner|
|LATAM||10 months||10 months||10 months|
|Lufthansa||1 year||1 year||when made available by partner|
|Qantas||353 days||at random||at random|
|Qatar||360-365 days||360-365 days||360-365 days|
|Royal Air Maroc||10 months-1 year||10 months-1 year||10 months or when provided by partner|
|Royal Jordanian||360 days||360 days (maybe)||Depends on route, sales, partner & more|
|Singapore Airlines||355 days||355 days||355 days|
|Southwest||6 months||6 months||no airline partners|
|TAP Portugal||354 days||354 days||354 days|
|Thai Airways||11 months||11 months||11 months or when provided by partner|
|Turkish Airlines||355 days||355 days||different airlines have different rules, so contact them to inquire|
|United Airlines||8 months-1 year||8 months-1 year||"play around on our site"|
|Virgin Atlantic||331 days||331 days||331 days or when provided by partner|
|Virgin Australia||331 days||331 days||331 days or when provided by partner|
Most airlines admitted that they don’t control partner award availability. Their responses often indicated a goal date and something like “or when the partner makes the information available.” That is beyond their control, which can be frustrating for us.
There are certainly some oddities in the airlines’ responses that I want to draw your attention to.
- Delta – their response is that partner booking availability varies by route and by partner, so all you can do is search around on the website or contact them. They told me they have no guidance on which partners or which routes might be available earlier than others.
- Turkish – their response was similar to Delta’s. You need to contact them to ask if a certain partner is available yet or not, or just search hoping to find something.
- United – they provided a very strange answer, saying to play around on the website and see what you find.
- Royal Jordanian – they refused to commit to a date on partner awards. Also, they were quite evasive in numerous attempts to find a number for award bookings in general. The concept they left me with is that “it varies” and you really won’t know until you try to make a booking. They were even more vague when discussing partner awards, and I got too frustrated to continue seeking clarification.
- Qantas – this was the strangest answer. I pressed them for clarity, but they insisted that award availability (whether their own flights or with partners) is 100% random. There’s no way to know when a route or a partner will be made available. They even said it can be toggled on/off for availability, so you have to just keep searching. The responses they gave me indicated that the approach is “hope you get lucky” and wouldn’t respond to any of my questions other than to insist that you keep searching, it’s random, so good luck. This is…strange.
Maybe you’re heading to a popular place at a popular time, like a beach in Florida during Spring Break. Or maybe you need to plan in advance for a specific date, due to a destination wedding or big family traveling together (check Family Travel 101 for help!). Whatever it is, it can take forever to comb through dozens of websites to figure out how far in advance you can book a flight with various airlines. Hopefully, this analysis will help the next time you are looking to book flights super far in advance.