For best airfare deals, shop six weeks before your trip

A recent study of U.S. airline ticket transactions revealed that passengers get the best airfare deals if they make their purchase six weeks before their scheduled departure.

On average, prices at the six-week mark are nearly 6% below the overall average fare, reported the study, run by Airlines Reporting Corp., a technology company that handles transactions between airlines and air travel agents. Airfares begin to rise dramatically one week before the flight, peaking on the departure date.

The study factored in four years of data from almost 144 million flight ticketing transactions with origins and destinations in the United States, making its findings pretty reputable. For more budget travel tricks, this vintage Gadling post shares five things you can do right now to score cheaper plane tickets. The video below share some helpful tips too.

[via Los Angeles Times, Flickr image via Tim Snell]