The formula to calculate a good deal for your flight

Travel On The Dollar
May 18, 2016  •  2 min(s) read

With fuel prices at their lowest, airline fares are getting cheaper, but the prices vary depending on the trip time and your destination. How does one know if the fare you see is a good deal? Luiz Maykot, a data science analyst for Adobe, came up with a simple formula.


This is the formula:

  • For domestic flights: multiply the flight’s round-trip miles by $0.032, then add $230.
  • For domestic flights: multiply the flight’s round-trip miles by $0.08, then add $200.

For example, a round-trip flight between Los Angeles and Lisbon is 11,238 miles. Put this against the formula and you get $1,106.24, including taxes and fees. So anything below $1,106 would be a great deal.

Read Maykot’s post for details on how he came up with the formula:

I calculated the average price paid by everyone in the data sample, based on how many days in advance they purchased their tickets (up to 300 days in advance). Then, I divided the average price for each day by the overall average price and did this across thousands and thousands of flights. I was left with a weighted average of the final curve.

Additionally, there are some conclusions he made:

  1. Advance purchases don’t matter for hotel Reservations
  2. The lowest-cost flight destinations have the highest-cost hotels
  3. The best time to buy a domestic flight is 90 days in advance

Remember that the formula’s number gives you a general idea of what the majority of flight prices have been in recent years. See the link below for the full report.

2016 Travel Report: The Story Behind the Numbers

Travel On The Dollar