The Cheapest Deal Zone of the Year is Now Underway (Please Don’t Miss It)

Did you know? The cheapest deal zone of the year is now underway. Do not miss it (if you do you may kick yourself later). Here’s what to know, and how to take advantage of it.

What is the cheapest deal zone?

Cheapest deal zone: We used to call it the January Deal Zone but this year runs through the end of February for U.S. domestic fares, and through late March for transatlantic flights. The following dates apply to the U.S. but they are generally cheap days to fly in many countries. Note: The dates are based on average airfare prices, so the travel and blackout periods may vary by a day or two (another good reason to be a little flexible as you compare fares for your trip).

  • Deal zone begins: Jan. 7 – fares drop.
  • Deal zone blackout period: Feb. 14-17 – temporary rise in prices due to Valentine's Day and President's Day weekend.
  • Deal zone ends: March 1 – prices rise for spring travel.

Why do prices rise and fall? Customer demand. After the holidays, demand usually drops, with that brief exception in mid-February.

Why should I care about deal zones?

Because you can save a lot of money, of course. Most of us are used to vacationing in June, July and August, but summer fares are very expensive (again, thanks to demand). This year, do something a little different, fly in January or February. We've been seeing some great winter fares on the Deals Blog, and here are some examples (all prices in US dollars).

  • Los Angeles to London, $326 (in February)
  • London to New York, $320 (in March)
  • New York to Paris, $316 (in February)
  • Sao Paulo to Madrid, $541 (in March)
  • Toronto to Rome, $556 (in February)

Do I have to fly in cold months to save?

No. Fall is another very cheap time to fly. Fares start to drop in late August and continue to plunge until late November. But the deal zone that includes January, February and March is generally considered the cheapest time to fly all year.

How do I find cheap flights?

Several ways to do this.

  • Twitter and Facebook: We let followers know on social media when sales pop up, but if you also shop on FareCompare, you won't miss them.
  • Getaway Map: This simple tool shows cheap flights from your town to destinations around the world. Even if you don’t have plans to fly, this is a fun way to see where you could go, and add to your bucket list.

Any other dates I should be watching?

These are dates to avoid, if possible.

  • June 22 to Aug. 24: This is when peak-pricing is in force for U.S. flights, but transatlantic flights begin to dropping in price around mid-July.

Remember, deal zones don't last forever, so get going! Happy shopping and safe travels.

Rick Seaney
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