I need to buy plane tickets from Salt Lake City to New York City departing around the 30th of June and returning around the 25th of July. I have heard that the best time to buy and get the best price is 6-8 weeks before departure. Does this hold true? Any exceptions I should be aware of?
You will also hear it's best as far in advance as you can, best as close when they have tickets they can't sell, better on Tuesdays, better on Sundays, better on Saturdays, better at night, etc.
There's no way to know when the best time is to get tickets. Some sites like Bing offer a fare predictor suggestion to buy now or wait, but I've never found it to be very accurate, and it isn't always able to make suggestions.
A good deal is when you feel good about it really. I would just look at all the carriers that fly out of Salt Lake and then price them all out. Also, some carriers may not put their prices out on sites like Orbitz, so make sure you check their websites (I believe AA is one of those airlines). Just see a price range, and see what you are willing to pay, and try and get under it.
Also, it may be cheaper if you can fly out on a thurs rather than a sat?
For me, $300 would be a good price if I were to fly from LAS to NYC. $350 would be my max. And if I can get it under $300, it be a really good deal to me. But this is just me personally. It may be different for you.
I was surfing this forum and after learning your question I thought I should share my view too. It's always good to book your ticket at least 6 or 8 weeks before your journey as there is the possibility of ticket shortage as well as the high price of the tickets.
How far "around" the 30th do you need to fly?
If you only have a 2-3 day window, I'd book early. If you're flexible for over a whole week, I'd wait.
Also, AA (I'm assuming others also) will let you hold a reservation for a few days. If I was worried about big fluctuations in price, I'd reserve the ticket and wait. If the price rises, I confirm the reservation. If it drops, I rebook.
But most importantly, don't forget that time is money. If you spend 5-6 hours and end up with a ticket $50 cheaper..