International football fans (soccer to you Yanks) have been counting the days until tickets go on sale for the World Cup 2014 and that’ll happen Aug. 20. But when to buy airline tickets for travel to host country Brazil to be sure of getting the cheapest airfare possible?
FareCompare has been getting more and more questions about flights to Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere so we turned to resident airfare expert Rick Seaney for answers.
Listen as airfare analyst Rick Seaney reveals what flights to Brazil will cost:
World Cup Fans: Start Shopping Now
“Under normal circumstances, shopping for airline tickets to South America is similar to Europe which means you would start looking/buying about five months in advance of departure,” said Seaney, “but there’s nothing typical about the World Cup.” Seaney says the airlines treat it just as they do the Olympics which means passengers can expect a heavy premium on tickets to the host country. “And the airlines usually won’t budge off that premium,” adds Seaney. He advises anyone interested in traveling to Brazil next summer to start shopping 11 months in advance – the earliest bookings allowed – and that time is now. World Cup play runs from June 12 through July 13, 2014.
Where to Fly in Brazil
World Cup matches will actually be played in 12 Brazilian cities including Brasilia and Sao Paulo, but the final match will be played in Rio de Janeiro. These three large cities will likely offer the best airfare prices, too. Click the city’s name to find cheap flights.
- Brasilia (BSB) – The airport is served by several South American carriers plus a few European airlines and American and Delta.
- Rio de Janeiro (GIG) – The second-busiest airport (just behind Sao Paulo) is served by numerous South American and European carriers plus all the U.S. legacy airlines.
- Sao Paulo (GRU) – This vast airport is served by airlines around the world including African, Asian and Middle Eastern carriers as well as all U.S. legacy airlines.
Note: Both Rio and Sao Paulo’s airports are undergoing significant upgrades partly in anticipation of an influx of World Cup travelers. Will you be going to Brazil next summer – or like to? We’d love to hear.