The Best Days to Book a Flight and When to Fly

The best days to book a flight and when to fly

Traveling is exciting, adventurous, and fun. But it can also be costly. Many budget-conscious travelers want to know the best day to buy airline tickets and the cheapest day to fly. However, the day can vary depending on where you’re going and when. While there isn’t a magic day that guarantees repeated unbeatable flight deals, there are days of the week that are likely to be less expensive when booking and flying. Below, we’ll discuss everything we know. We’ll also discuss a few additional tips and tricks, like staying flexible with travel dates and attentive to rapidly changing flight prices, to help you snag a fantastic travel deal.

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When Is the Best Day to Book a Flight?

The truth is that there isn’t one best day to book flights. Historically, airlines have launched new sales on Tuesdays, and many still think the best day to buy airline tickets is Tuesday. While this can often be the case, it’s not always. The reality is that flight prices change all the time. Nowadays, airline ticket sales patterns are very unpredictable. For example, any day of the week, airlines can offer flash sales or even lower costs for a short time to match a competing airline. Adjusting to real-time demand, the price of a flight can even change based on the time of day. Ticket prices from Tuesday morning can jump by Tuesday night.

Since airline ticket price changes are unpredictable, it’s not necessarily the best option to wait until Tuesday to book flights. The best day to book flights is whatever day a deal pops up. While that may be on a Tuesday, it may also be on any other day of the week. Luckily, modern technology can help.

To determine the best day to book flights, set up a price alert. It's tough to stay on top of the ever-changing flight fluctuations. Setting up a price alert makes it feel like you have an assistant helping you out. There are quite a few options out there. For example, Hopper, Google Flights, Kayak, and Skyscanner can all scour the web to find the best deals and keep you apprised via email when flight prices drop. Setting up a price alert is a top tool for finding the best day to book airline tickets.

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When Is the Best Time to Fly?

The cheapest day to fly is different for domestic versus international flights. Here's what you need to know.

Domestic Flights

Tuesday and Wednesday are often less in demand and, therefore, are considered the cheapest time to fly. Sunday is the most expensive day to fly. This applies equally to economy, business class, and first-class travelers. If Tuesday and Wednesday aren't viable travel days, try Saturday and Monday. They’re the next cheapest days to fly and can save passengers up to 15% per ticket.

International Flights

The prices of international flights don't fluctuate as much as they do for domestic flights. If you're flying abroad, consider jetting off on Wednesday or Thursday. You can save up to 12% on ticket prices. If possible, avoid flying on Sunday, which is typically the most expensive day of the week.

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More Tips to Save Money When Booking a Flight

While keeping in mind the best day to book flights and the cheapest day to fly, there are a few other things you can do to minimize costs when booking your ticket. If possible, be flexible with dates, book in advance, and don’t be afraid to rebook if you spot a lower price.

Stay Flexible

Sure, it’s not always possible, but being flexible with travel dates can potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Research other travel dates for better deals. You can usually use the calendar view on airline search pages to see the cost of flights on different days. Also, look into nearby airports that may be cheaper to fly into.

Book in Advance

The best time to book domestic flights is often one to three months in advance. For international flights, you should book even further in advance — two to eight months out. Prices can surge in the weeks leading up to your desired travel dates. Plus, if you wait until the last minute, it might be difficult to get a good seat or even a seat on the plane at all!

Rebook for a Cheaper Price

If you’ve already booked your flight and you see a flash sale with a better deal, don’t worry. You may be able to cancel your previously booked flight and save money by booking at a lower price. First of all, check your change and cancellation policy. These days, many airlines have adopted flexible plans. Check the policy to see if there is a fee for canceling or changing. Based on the cost, if any, and the price of the new discounted fare, decide how you can save the most money. However, keep in mind that many airlines will only give you a travel voucher when canceling. 

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