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Cheapest Days to Fly in 2019

Published by Rick Seaney on December 26, 2018

New Year's 2019

This list of cheapest days to fly in 2019 is based on my proprietary airfare data, which includes almost 300 million records of unique flight combinations for every origin and destination city around the world through August. It also covers different routes (non-stops vs. connecting flights), different trip lengths, and different regions (the United States and Europe). Daily airfare prices were crunched down to ‘average cheapest fares.’

1. What is the cheapest day or days to fly in 2019?

Worldwide: Jan. 29.
Europe: Jan. 30.
United States: Jan. 22-30.

2. What are cheapest days to fly in Winter of 2019?

United States
January: Holiday fares will drop starting Jan. 3, followed by some of the cheapest prices of the year including Jan. 22-30.
February: More good prices, especially in the last two weeks of the month.
March: Fares start to rise on weekends, up about 35% compared to Tues./Wed. flights.
Unusually good value: Find good deals to Hawaii for travel on Jan. 14 to Feb. 7, and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May.

EUROPE
January to March: Besides cheap fares on Jan. 30, deals will be common in the winter months but prices are expected to rise sharply on March 20 for the Spring season.

3. What are cheapest days to fly in Spring of 2019?

United States
April: Weekend fares rise in April and cost about 40% more than weekday flights.
May: Expect higher fares for Thursdays and Fridays especially in the latter part of May.
Early June: Prices remain fairly reasonable until pre-summer fares kick-in on June 13.

EUROPE
April: Watch for increasingly expensive flights for weekend travel.
May: The last ‘cheap day’ for spring travel will be May 22.
Early June: We are now in pricy, pre-summer territory but it’s cheaper than late June.

4. What are cheapest days to fly in Summer of 2019?

United States
Late June: Peak season fares begin June 23 as prices are hiked 20-25% over pre-summer fares.
July: Prices continues to be expensive.
August: Prices drop for the cheaper fall season which is expected to begin Aug. 20.

EUROPE
Late June: Travelers now pay 60-70% more than fares for the same flights in January.
July: Fares actually drop a bit making July slightly cheaper than late June.
August: Watch for fares to begin dropping in late August/early September.

5. When to find cheap flights to other parts of the world?

ASIA: Departures for Asia are generally cheapest on Tuesdays, regardless of season.
AUSTRALIA: January is usually expensive, while May is cheap.
CARIBBEAN: Flights from the U.S. are especially cheap for travel on Jan. 20-30
SOUTH AMERICA: Cheaper fares are common in late January, and some April/May dates.

6. Any general rules to find deals in 2019?

A traveler’s ability to be flexible is key to finding cheap flights in 2019.

• Look for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Flying on these days of the week is almost always the cheapest option in the U.S., and Saturdays are often cheap, too. In other regions, midweek flights are often the better deals than weekend flights.

• Compare non-stops with connecting flights: Prices for less convenient connecting flights are often cheaper than non-stops, especially on long routes.

• Look at short-haul, hub-to-hub flights: These flights are often less affected by seasonal prices swings, particular for mid-week flights.

• When in doubt: It will almost always be cheaper to fly during unpopular times to fly, such as the winter months or weekdays. TIP: Use a tool that finds deals by month or season like FareCompare’s Getaway Map and you’ll always pinpoint the cheapest fare.

7. Why are we only talking about airfares through August?

Most airlines release airfares nine months in advance, and since I wrote this in December 2018, August is as far as we can go. Note: Some airlines do publish fares for later travel, but resist the temptation to buy! Airlines don’t begin to actively manage their prices until about three months in advance for domestic fares, and about five months in advance for transatlantic flights. If you buy any earlier, you could pay too much.

8. When should would-be travelers start shopping?

Remember, wait until about three months before departure to shop for domestic flights, and about five months before taking an international trip. These guidelines are in effect as of December 2018:

• U.S. flights: Shop now for flights through March. For those taking off at the start of the summer season in June, wait until March to shop; if you’ll fly in July, wait until April to buy.

• Europe flights: Shop now for flights through May; wait until January to shop for June or July flights.

And here’s hoping your New Year is filled with wonderful flights to amazing destinations.

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