The Secret Deal Zones

Maybe you saw my post on Cheap Flight Day (Aug. 23) which marked the start of the inexpensive Fall Deal Zone (the date varies year to year). But did you know? Within that zone are two ‘secret’ zones that are especially cheap times to fly – but they’re not secret any more.

LISTEN: Let’s call it what it is – secrets to savings – right, Rick?

Secret Deal Zones

Think of these deal zones cheap, buffers between high-priced holiday travel periods.

Secret Deal Zone #1 – Early November

  • When: The first two weeks in November (but this can vary by a day or so), a sweet spot for travel before the killer fares of Thanksgiving kick in. Reminder: Thanksgiving, a major U.S. holiday, falls on Nov. 24 this year.
  • Who benefits: U.S. domestic fliers, of course. plus any visitors who will be traveling stateside. However, many travelers in the northern hemisphere will find good fares because wintertime is not a popular time to fly and when demand drops, so do prices.

Secret Deal Zone #2 – Early December

  • When: The first two weeks in December, and again, it can vary slightly. Usually ends before most of us depart for Christmas and/or New Year’s trips.
  • Who benefits: Those parts of the world that celebrate late Decemeber/early January holidays; in other words, a whole lot of fliers around the globe including North America and Europe.

When to Shop for Secret Deal Zone Fares

  • For domestic flights: Generally shop from 3 months to about one month before departure (but some discount airlines may allow you to find deals as late as 7 days before departure).
  • For trans-Atlantic and other international flights: Generally shop from about 5 months to 30 to 45 days before departure.

Other Ways to Save in Deal Zones

There are a couple of strategies to make airfare even cheaper.

  • Always compare fares: No single airline always has the best deal so if you don’t compare you could miss out. Go to an airfare search site and also check the fares at Southwest (the only airline that does not share its fares).
  • Fly the cheaper days: You can usually save by flying on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays (on U.S. domestic flights) and midweek days in other parts of the world but again compare prices for different itineraries to be certain.

Now get out there and book yourself a deal.

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Updated: September 8, 2016