Airline Tickets – When is the Best Time to Book a Flight?

Airline TicketsIf you have read any of my Money Saving Tips for your Big Trip posts you may know that we love to travel and have several trips planned for the rest of the year. While I am very excited about these awesome trips, the thought of pricing for our airline tickets really scared me.  I have heard a lot of “experts” say to purchase your tickets on Tuesday evening or Sunday. With all of this information running around, I decided to do a little searching myself and see what I found. The amount of information was shocking.

Airport Tickets - AirportI will start out by saying something that might seem silly, but the cheapest time to fly, is on the most unpopular travel days; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Thus it also makes sense that the most expensive days would be Friday and Sundays when everyone is going and wants to get back home before work on Monday. It is also cheaper to fly when most people don’t want to fly, including flights at dawn, red-eyes (overnight flights), and flights around the dinner hour. Granted this may not always be possible, but maybe you can fly cheaper on one leg of the trip and at least save a little money one way.

Airline Tickets - CalendarWhile searching I found out why many people say the best time to purchase airline tickets is on Tuesday afternoon around 3 pm Eastern. Apparently, this is when airlines release the most sales and the competition matches the lower prices so you have more deals to choose from. I honestly haven’t noticed a difference yet, but I will definitely be keeping a closer eye on this one.

Airline Tickets - ClockWhile the time of day is important, more important is how far in advance you purchase your airline tickets. From all the reading I did, general consensus is that domestic tickets will be at their lowest price six weeks before your date of departure. After that six-week point, ticket prices tend to climb up slowly, then spike to their highest point a few days before departure. Of course, you could score a great last-minute sale, but it’s usually not a good solution. Could end up costing you twice as much if you really need to be somewhere.

Browser - ElectronicsThe best advice is to start haunting the sites really early, and when you see a good deal, grab it. Don’t keep waiting and watching to see if it will go down, because it probably won’t. What’s the old saving, pound-wise penny foolish? Trying to save a few bucks, could cost you more in the long run.

Airline Tickets - BrowsersAs you can see the price of airline tickets can be unpredictable. But here are a few tips that might help you save a little when booking your airfare. Beware that many airlines and travel websites (such as Expedia, Kayak, etc.) track how many times you’ve visited their websites. In so doing, they provide different offers and deals depending on the user. To make sure you’re getting the best prices when you book air travel online, be sure to clear your web browser’s cookies and cache. This will make it appear as if it’s your first time visiting these sites, and you’re likely to see much better prices for your next flight!

Carry-On - Boarding PassI also want to mention that a lot of airlines will have Airfare alerts you can set up that will send you an email or post on Twitter when they have sales to certain cities, etc. It may help if it’s during the time you want to fly. I figure it can’t hurt.

Carry-On - Airplane at SunsetI will end this by saying, throw out the Tuesday or Sunday thing and just keep an eye out for deals or sales and you may get lucky. The airlines are mixing things up, so we need to roll with the times. Good luck, and happy travels!


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4 thoughts on “Airline Tickets – When is the Best Time to Book a Flight?

  1. This is good info! My father-in-law will be traveling back to Florida once things ease up and I know he has been looking at flights.

    This post will help him save some $$$ (if he heeds your advice!

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for the comment Paul. Hope this info helps your father-in-law save money on future flights. Happy travels.

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