Cheapest Days to Fly in 2020

Cheapest Days to FLy

I like to kick off every new year with an airfare overview, so welcome to the Cheapest Days to Fly in 2020. We reviewed more than 280 million airfares from FareCompare's proprietary airfare database to find this information, which covers ticket prices into September (most airlines don’t actively manage fares more than nine months ahead). Use this overview as a shopping guide for deals now through summer.

How to Shop in 2020

Shop as you would year-round: Compare airfares. No single airline always has the best deal so if you don't compare, you could miss out on big savings. Don't shop too late, either! The following months and dates refer to the cheapest days to fly in 2020; to get the best prices, book tickets at least a few weeks before departure.

Another way to save: Connecting flights vs. nonstops

Cheapest Days to Fly: Winter

U.S. and Canada flights

  • Cheapest fares: Jan. 7 to Feb. 28/29
  • Cheapest single travel day: Jan. 21
  • Best days-of-the-week to fly: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, followed by Thursdays
  • Days to avoid: Prices are higher Feb. 14-17 due to Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend

Europe flights

  • Cheapest fares: Jan. 22 to March 25
  • Cheaper days to fly: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays

Bottom line: There are many days throughout Jan. and Feb. to find cheap domestic flights and flights to Europe.

Cheapest Days to Fly: Spring

U.S. and Canada flights

  • First post-winter price hike: Feb. 29
  • Best days-days-of-the-week to fly in March/April: Tuesdays, Wednesdays
  • Most expensive days-of-the-week to fly in March/April: Fridays, Sundays

Europe flights

  • First post-winter price hike: March 26
  • Second price hike: May 14
  • Third (and largest) price hike: June 2

Bottom line: The earlier you fly in the spring, the better.

Cheapest Days to Fly: Summer & Fall

U.S. and Canada flights

  • First summer price hike: June 4
  • Major price hike: June 22
  • When prices drop: Aug. 25
  • More price drops: Early to mid-September, especially for flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Europe flights

  • First summer price hike: June 2
  • First price drop: July 15
  • Major price drop: Aug. 11
  • Another major price drop: Sept. 11

Bottom line: Summer is expensive, but European fares begin to drop before U.S. prices.

Methodology

A note on the methodology of my analysis: The data includes prices for tickets to and from every city in the world, each and every day, based on 6-8 day-long stays. The results are then crunched down to ‘average daily cheapest fares’.

Top Travel Destinations

Now you know when to fly. Let's compare airfares to some of the most popular travel destinations.

 

Rick Seaney
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