How Far In Advance Can I Book A Flight? A Chart Of Each Airline’s Policy

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How Far In Advance Can I Book A Flight? A Chart Of Each Airline's Policy

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.

AirlineCashAwardPartner
Aer Lingus330 days330 days330 days
Air Canada361 days360 dayspartner load inconsistent but goal is 360 days
Air France / KLM335 days335 dayswhenever the partner loads the information into AF/KLM website
Alaska Airlines330 days330 days330 days
American Airlines330 days330 days330 days or when the partner shares the information
ANA355 days from final leg355 days from final leg355 days or when the partner makes it available
Asia Miles / Cathay360 days353 daysdepends on partner, typical 350+
Asiana361 days361 dayswhen the partner makes it available
Avianca / LifeMiles1 year1 year1 year
British Airways355 days355 days355 days
Delta Air Lines332 days332 daysvaries "depending on the route and the marketed airline"
Emirates330 days330 days330 days
Etihad11 months11 months11 months
EVA Air360 days360 dayswhen partner makes it available
Finnair11 months11 months11 months
Frontier1 year1 yearn/a no partners
Hawaiian330 days330 days330 days unless partner hasn't provided yet
Iberia355 days355 days355 days
JAL360 days from final leg360 days from final legwhen final leg is made available by partner
JetBlue11 months11 months11 months
Korean Air361 days361 dayswhen made available by partner
LATAM10 months10 months10 months
Lufthansa1 year1 yearwhen made available by partner
Qantas353 daysat randomat random
Qatar360-365 days360-365 days360-365 days
Royal Air Maroc10 months-1 year10 months-1 year10 months or when provided by partner
Royal Jordanian360 days360 days (maybe)Depends on route, sales, partner & more
Singapore Airlines355 days355 days355 days
Southwest6 months6 monthsno airline partners
TAP Portugal354 days354 days354 days
Thai Airways11 months11 months11 months or when provided by partner
Turkish Airlines355 days355 daysdifferent airlines have different rules, so contact them to inquire
United Airlines8 months-1 year8 months-1 year"play around on our site"
Virgin Atlantic331 days331 days331 days or when provided by partner
Virgin Australia331 days331 days331 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.

How Far In Advance Can I Book A Flight? A Chart Of Each Airline's Policy

Final Thoughts

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.

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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7 COMMENTS

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I’m wondering if Alaska and American will finally show the same OW award space when Alaska joins. From what I’ve seen, American shows better availability on JAL for instance and farther in advance.

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