We all want the cheapest flights possible! Whether you are a seasoned travel or just about to take your first trip, there are some tried and true tips for finding the cheapest days to fly and getting the best deals on airfare. Comparison shopping within a certain window is guaranteed to save some of your hard earned dough… but what about being flexible with your itinerary or booking group tickets individually? From shopping on a Tuesday to flying cheaper routes, there are a lot of ways to save!
1. Shop on Tuesday
Best day to shop: The best time to book a U.S. flight usually Tuesday at about 3 p.m. eastern time. The reason is many airlines release weekly airfare sales early on Tuesday; by mid-afternoon, competing airlines have matched these sale prices and shoppers will have the most good deals to choose from.
2. Don’t Shop too Early or too Late
Careful! Buy too early and you could pay too much. Buy too late and you could pay way too much. The sweet spot for deals is usually found in the following shopping windows.
U.S. tickets: Shop between 3 months and 30 days before departure.
International tickets: Shop between 5 ½ months and 1 ½ months before departure.
Popular times to fly: For peak travel periods such as June, July and August; Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year’s; and other holiday dates, purchase tickets two months in advance.
3. Always Compare Airfare
Think of this as the golden rule of shopping: Always compare airfares. Some folks don’t because they know their favorite airline always has the best deal, but no airline alway has the cheapest prices, not Spirit, not Southwest, not every single time, and we’ve proved this. If you don’t compare, you could pay too much and why pay a penny more than you have to?
Tip: Set a FareCompare airfare alert and we’ll do the work for you! Signing up for alerts only takes a second and the deals come to you. If you see one you like, act fast; the best deals don’t last.
4. Cheapest Days to Fly
Save even more by knowing the cheapest days to fly. If you can’t book cheap days for your entire flight, do it for one leg of the trip and you’ll still see some savings.
Cheap days: In the U.S., Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday are usually cheapest. For international travel, weekdays are usually cheaper than weekends.
Expensive days: Usually Fridays and Sundays cost more, especially in the U.S.
Cheap times of day: A good rule of thumb is to fly when most people don’t want to. Cheap times include dawn, overnight and flights around the lunch and dinner hour.
Tip: We can find the cheapest days to fly for you on the Getaway Map. Just type in your hometown and click the month or season you’d like the fly. The best deals will appear for U.S. cities and destinations around the world.
5. Fly the Cheapest Route
Non-stops vs. connecting flights: Non-stops are more convenient of course but you can sometimes find much better deals on connecting flights with savings up to 50%. Always compare the price of a non-stop with a connecting flight before you ding your credit card. Only you can decide if a cheaper price is worth the inconvenience of a longer travel day.
6. Book Group Travel One Ticket at a Time
This won’t always save you money, but it could so it’s worth trying every time you shop.
Shop one ticket at a time: When booking travel for two or more people, book just one ticket to start. A quirk in airline reservation systems means that multiple tickets sold in a single transaction must all be the same price.
Example: An airline has only one ticket for $50 and the rest are $100. If you shop for two, you will pay $200 total, but if you shop one-at-a-time, you will pay $150 total .