Every year, airfare expert and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney comes out with a list of magical dates to fly. The magic? Cheap ticket prices. “I don’t have a complete list for this year, yet,” said Seaney “because airlines don’t begin actively managing prices until about three months ahead [for domestic fares]. But I can get you started.”
LISTEN: Rick Seaney has more details.
Save Up to 50% on Spring Break
The week-long U.S. vacation period known as Spring Break generally falls between late February and early April, varying by region and as analyst Rick Seaney notes, “You better believe the airlines know exactly when each and every Spring Break period occurs.” Prices typically rise sharply during these weeks, but there is one way to save:
- Fly on Tuesday of your Spring Break week, return on Saturday. “By avoiding weekend-to-weekend flights, you can save up to 50 percent or more,” said Seaney.
You can begin shopping for Spring Break fares now.
Save on Flights to & from Europe
UPDATE: Rick Seaney has added additional information below.
Key departure dates to keep in mind for flights from the U.S. to cities in Europe, and vice versa.
- March 12
- May 15
- Aug 23
The March and May dates are cheaper by 15 to 30 percent than the days that immediately follow. The August date is cheaper by 15 to 30 percent than the day before. NOTE: Additional savings will be enjoyed by limited West Coast and Northeast cites thanks to Norwegian Air Shuttle 787 flights that can knock an additional 20 to 30 percent off ticket prices.
Airfare for trips to Europe is governed by well-defined seasons, and the above dates are right on the cusp of seasonal price changes: March 12 is the last day of the winter season, while May 15 is the last day for lower spring prices. This is followed by the peak prices of summer and which end with the start of the fall season on Aug. 23.
For flights to Asia, you may find similar savings – roughly around the same dates – but you must compare airfare prices to be sure of pinpointing the specific seasonal price-break day.
General Guidelines for Cheapest Summer Fares
If you can take an early or late summer vacation, you will save money. Examples:
- Fly up to the first week in June: This is when higher, domestic summer fares begin.
- Fly after the third week in August: This is typically when prices drop for fall.
But don’t buy tickets just yet.
When to Shop
You can wait until March to shop for early summer trips.
- When to buy: Start shopping 3 months before departure, complete purchase by 30 days before.
- When to fly: When traveling in the U.S. fly Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.
Again, for summertime travel in the U.S. there’s no rush. Suggestion: Start perusing all the deals out there – then, start dreaming.