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Secret formula airlines hope you don't know - Are you overpaying on airfare?

Secret formula airlines hope you don't know - Are you overpaying on airfare?
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Fall is here, and you know what that means? The holidays are just around the corner! Whether you're traveling home from college for the long Thanksgiving weekend, going across the country to see your in-laws for Christmas, or taking an international trip so you can ring in the New Year in a foreign time zone, the time to plan has come.

When booking a trip, it's always wise to find the best bang for your buck. They are so many ways you can research the best flight, hotel and rental car deals. But we're about to reveal a helpful little secret: a coveted formula that will change the way you book round-trip airfare going forward.

The Adobe Digital Index released its 2016 Travel Report, which analyzes air and hotel price trends, including a formula that ensures best flight fares. This report breaks down data from 2014 to 2016 looking at over 15 billion visits to U.S. travel, airline and hotel sites. Instead of making you thumb through the report in search of the secret formula, we've taken the liberty of finding it for you. Are you ready?

Secret airfare formula

According to the Adobe Digital Index, "To determine whether the price you’re seeing for any domestic round-trip airfare is a good deal, multiply the round-trip miles (airport to airport) by $.032, and add $230 to get the average price. For international round-trip airfare, multiply the round-trip miles by $.08 and add $200." If your answer is less than your plane ticket, then you might be paying more than average.

For instance, it's 2,827 miles from Los Angeles International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport, so the round trip miles would be 5,654. (5,654 x $.032) + $230 = $411. According to a quick Google Flights search, a round-trip ticket could be as little as $281.

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Bonus tip: When to book your flight

Now that you know how to calculate the average cost for airfare and compare it against the prices you're paying, the next thing you need to know is when to book your flight. Don’t be fooled into thinking that buying six months in advance or more gets you the best deal because the date of departure is so far away. Sometimes the opposite is true. There is usually a certain window of time when you get the best bargain.

According to the Adobe Digital Index Travel Report 2016 edition, “On average, the best time to buy domestic flights is around 90 days before departure. That can change substantially for holidays.” FYI, we are 51 days from Thanksgiving, 82 days from Christmas, and 88 days from New Year's Eve.

So there you have it, now you know how and when to book a flight to get the best deal for your summer adventures. Happy landing!

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