Fall Deal Zone: Summer’s Almost Over but the Fun Doesn’t End

If you thought summertime was great, you’re going to love late-August, September, October, and November. In much of the world, it’s the start of the fall deal zone.

Fall Deal Zone

Here’s what to know about this very special travel period.

  • When does it start? The fall deal zone gets underway Aug. 23 in many parts of the world including North America and Europe.
  • Why do prices drop? A lot of kids go back to school which in turn means demand for travel drops significantly so airlines lower fares to fill seats.
  • How much do prices drop? As of a week or so ago, we saw average price-drops from about 10 to 20% from peak summer prices.
  • How long does the fall deal zone last? Until about mid-December, but U.S. domestic fliers will see the fall deal zone interrupted by very high prices in late November during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
  • When is the next deal zone? For U.S. domestic travel, the January deal zone begins after New Year’s fliers return (typically about Jan. 7) and continues into mid-February when prices rise for Spring Break travel. For transatlantic travelers and others, this winter deal zone continues all the way through late March.
  • If you don’t live in a deal zone are there other ways to save? Yes. Always compare fares. This may sound incredibly obvious but many shoppers still go directly to their favorite airline site because they believe it will always have the best deals. Not true! Any airline can have the cheapest price at any given time but you won’t know that unless you compare fares. Try it; you could save a bundle.

Other ways to save:

  • Fly when most people don’t want to: In the U.S., the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. In other parts of the world, it’s often cheaper to fly midweek or Monday to Thursday (and sometimes Sunday). Compare fares for airlines and different travel dates.
  • Take a less convenient route: It is sometimes (though not always) cheaper to choose a connecting flight instead of the more convenient non-stop. Use a comparison site (like this one) that allows you to clearly and quickly see which is the better deal, and by how much.
  • Set airfare alerts: Choose a destination, set your airfare alerts and let the deals come to you. If you like what you see, act fast; others are looking for deals and the cheapest fares are always limited.

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Updated: September 16, 2016