If you’ve been putting off that summer trip, good news: Airline ticket prices drop in late August for both U.S. domestic and transatlantic international flights. If you can wait until the magic dates to fly in August, you could save a significant amount of money.
Magic Dates to Fly – Aug. 21 and Aug. 22
In 2017, the magic dates to fly are Aug. 22 for U.S. domestic flights, and Aug. 21 for flights to/from Europe and the U.S. The late August dates mark the end of peak-summer pricing as demand drops due to children returning to school. Now, six more things to know about these dates to help cut costs.
1. When is the fall deal zone?
The fall deal zone – kicked off by the magic dates to fly in August – is a significantly cheaper travel period than summer. It typically begins in late August (the date varies from year to year) and continues until mid-December, with a big jump in domestic prices in late November around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
2. Do all airlines have the same magic date?
No. We’ve seen several late summer airfare sales offered by U.S. airlines where the magic date varies slightly; larger airlines tend to offer deals on flights taking off Aug. 22 and beyond, while smaller discount carriers drop prices a few days earlier. Tip: Compare fares to see multiple itineraries for best deals (this is where the Getaway Map is extremely useful).
3. How much can you save?
It varies by departure and destination cities but in previous years, we’ve seen prices drop 15 to 20% from peak summer fares. Your savings could vary.
5. When’s the next price drop?
Watch for price drops during these travel periods:
October: late in the month
November: first two weeks, especially in the U.S.
January: beginning after the first week and continuing into March
6. What travel periods should be avoided?
U.S. flights: Avoid the Thanksgiving travel period; the holiday itself falls on Thursday, Nov. 24 this year but the Wednesday before and the Sunday after are particularly expensive.
International flights: Avoid the days immediately surrounding Christmas (Dec. 25) and New Year’s (Jan. 1) as they are usually peak travel periods.
As always, safe travels.