The Cheapest Days to Fly This Fall

Find Cheap Flights Starting on Aug. 23

Looking for cheap domestic flights in the second half of 2011? Know the “magic departure date,” August 23. For most airlines, this date signifies the beginning of the fall season.

The fall season typically runs from late August through mid-December, but there are important exceptions when plane tickets can be more expensive.

Listen as FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney tells Editor Anne McDermott more about the cheapest times to fly this fall:

Know the Cheapest and Most Expensive Times to Fly

The cheapest days to fly include the following:

  • Late August
  • Second week of September through mid-November
  • First two weeks in December



More expensive times to fly in the fall/winter include the following:

  • Labor Day holiday period
  • Thanksgiving period (but Thanksgiving Day is the cheapest day to fly in this period)
  • Christmas/New Year’s (but Christmas Day is a relatively cheap day to fly)

Fall Flights: More Benefits for Passengers

There are other advantages to traveling in the fall season, beyond finding cheap flights. Here are just a few:

  • Less crowded airports
  • Better hotel deals
  • Shorter lines at popular attractions
  • Fewer noisy kids on planes
  • Easier security experience

Not all airlines use the same magic departure date. For example, while Virgin America recently advertised a fall airfare sale on flights beginning Aug. 23, Southwest Airlines recent sale didn’t kick in on flights until Aug. 24. In other words, the “magic date” can vary by a day or two, so don’t miss out.

To find the cheapest days and the cheapest flights for your destination, use FareCompare’s  flexible calendar to find the best deals on and around your departure dates. Plus, check out the Deals Blog for hand-picked flight deals and everyday savings.

Security may be the big crowd pleaser, and here’s why: The Transportation Security Administration or TSA has already begun installing new software for body scan imaging machines which will take the place of the software that created those so-called “naked picture” images.

The image on the new security software makes individuals look like cartoonish cookie-cutter outlines, plus you can view this image yourself. In other words, this puts an end to security agents in another room viewing what some considered an “R-rated” image behind locked doors. The new Gingerbread Man-like picture, I’m told, earns a G-rating.

More from Rick Seaney:

Summer Ends Early, Airlines Offer Deals


Published: August 2, 2011